As we continue to live in a “new normal” due to COVID-19, many of us are trying new hobbies, like gardening and farming, to stay occupied and keep our spirits high.
These outdoor hobbies exercise our minds and occupy our leisure time. Additionally, spending time in a garden can be both therapeutic and beneficial in times of uncertainty. Whether you’re a novice or experienced gardener, May is a great season to begin working on your home garden!
If you don’t know where to begin, you can find plenty of free or low-cost information online – from books to articles to tutorials.
If you are new to exercising your green thumb and beginning to think about starting your garden, there are a few things to consider before planting your produce. These quick gardening tips will get you started planting so you can relax and enjoy the benefits of a healthy garden.
Gardening tips for beginners
- Pick the right location for your plants – The best place to plant garden seeds is in a sunny area with moist, well-drained soil. Also, make sure to choose a stable environment where your young plants are not vulnerable to inclement weather or conditions, like wind or heavy foot traffic.
- Choose the right plot size – It easy to become overzealous and overestimate how much to plant. It’s a good idea to start small until you determine the right amount of produce for you. According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, for a family of four, if you are starting your garden in the ground, make your garden 11 rows wide with each row 10 feet long. The rows should run north and south to receive the best amount of sun, and don’t forget to make paths for access to weed and harvest. If 11 10-foot rows is too large for your needs, you can simply make the rows shorter.
- Choose your vegetables and herbs – When choosing which plants to grow, be realistic about what you and your family like to eat, or you’ll end up with veggies going to waste. Some relatively easy plants to grow are tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, cabbage, lettuce and carrots. You can also grow what isn’t commonly available at your local supermarket.
- Purchase quality seeds – Spending the extra cents on quality seeds that properly germinate will offer you a more bountiful harvest.
- Have fun – Don’t become discouraged if your planting doesn’t go exactly how you plan at first; continue researching the plants you enjoy and trying new methods. Nothing will give you a sense of accomplishment like growing and eating your homegrown produce.
If you don’t have space to start an outside garden, don’t feel left out. You can bring greenery indoors by starting with a container garden. This option may be perfect for you because you can grow an abundant variety of vegetables and herbs even with minimal space. Most plants can grow well in properly-sized containers with the good care. Check out this Good Housekeeping article to learn more about indoor gardening.