Sunday, March 2, 2014

My Top 5 Tips for Planting Your First Garden

 While I am certainly no expert at gardening, I've been doing a lot of homework to prepare for my garden this year. I am going to share a couple of quick tips on getting started with gardening. I've been doing a ton of research the last couple of months and I've learned so much! This will be my first time ever having a garden so these tips are perfect for those of you who might be considering doing the same thing.

My Top 5 Tips

1) Pinterest- love, love, love all the websites and blogs about gardening that I have found through pinterest. I have read so many tips and tricks that I had never heard of before and I feel like this will really help me my first year. If you can learn from other people's mistakes instead of making the same ones yourself, why wouldn't you?

2) Raised Garden Beds & Potted Plants are the way to go! Not only is it easier to garden this way, but this form of gardening will be doing the most to ensure my gardening produces healthy, organic veggies. Some of the reasons I'm going with raised garden beds and potted plants this year are
I live in Charlotte, NC. We don't have soil here. We have clay.
I live in the city. This means that city sewer lines and all kinds of toxins and chemicals are no doubt in my backyard. The whole point of gardening for me, is to produce healthier options I can trust. By sticking with raised beds and pots, I'm using all new soil what hasn't been contaminated or exposed to local toxins.
It's easier. No tilling up the ground. Less bending over for maintaining and harvesting plants. Less weed growth surrounding the vegetable plants.

3) Organic starting soil is your friend. Potting soils like Miracle Gro are infused with a lot of preservatives and chemicals that are intended to help your plants grow quicker. Unfortunately the additives to these soils also attract more bugs. Then you're forced to buy and use bug repellents and disease preventatives for your plants. Adding even more chemicals and preservatives to your soil and your vegetables. Despite everything I had thought about organic starting soil (Miracle Gro has a great marketing team by the way,) most blogs I've visited have said that they have actually noticed a dramatic increase in yield since switching to organic starting soil. Healthier for you and gives you more at harvest time? Win, win.

4) Be prepared to get dirty. It doesn't matter how great your gloves are, if you are gardening, you will end up with dirt under your nails. A lot of dirt. And often. I rather enjoy feeling like one with mother earth though.

5) Write things down. Keep a journal or notebook to log all of your garden details. When you planted your seeds, what brand of seeds and potting soil you used, the date you transplanted your seedlings outdoors, etc. Next year, when you go to tackle your garden, you'll want those notes as a guide. What worked, which crops turned out great and which ones didn't. Writing it all down helps you identify what really works for you and what things you'll want to try changing.

Good luck getting started, I hope these little tips help!


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