Monday, March 06, 2006

The First Day Gardening

The very first step for creating a garden paradise in your home is to determine where you would like that garden to be. Walk around your yard. What areas do you enjoy? Where could you imagine spending more time? That is where you want to put your garden.

Once you have an area, you should rope it off. You can do that with string or rope. Be sure that you tie it to stakes so that you can keep the area free of other people making plans for it. Then get out your tape measure and measure the garden. You will need to know how big the area is before you can start buying plants.

Your next step will be research. Look at other gardens in your area and in gardening books. See what is out there and what you like. Once you have found some plants that you like, you can get ready to start planting. You will need to check the soil first before you buy plants so that you can see that the soil will be good for those plants to grow.

You should check the soil with a basic Ph kit that you can get at gardening or home supply stores. If you have a neutral soil or close to it, then you are ready to go. If not, then you need to look at the various ways to treat your soil and get the soil to a neutral state.

Your next steps will be to buy the plants. Remember that nurseries tend to have workers who are knowledgeable about gardening because of the specialty nature of the store. That means that you should be able to ask questions and get good responses from the people who work there. Ask all of the questions you need. In particular, you need to find out how long each of the plants you have selected will take to germinate to make sure that you are buying them at the right time. You also need to know how much room they need to grow so that you can make sure you get the right number and size for your garden.

If this is your first year gardening, then you will not have a compost heap ready. Instead you will have to work from potting soil for this year. Get the right kind and amount for your size and type of garden.

While you are at the store, pick up the basic supplies you will need. Gloves are a must. In fact, you probably need a light pair for basic weeding and a heavier pair for all of the other work you will do. Be sure that the heavy pair has protection for your hands. Also pick up a watering can, a bucket or two, a shovel, and a trowel. A trowel looks similar to a pitchfork but is only a few inches long. You use it to till up land that may be hardened.

Now that you have the supplies, you are ready to begin your gardening adventure. You will begin by going home and thinking about where you will plant everything. If you have seeds, then you need to walk off the rows to make sure that you are putting the plants the right distance apart. If you bought plants, then you can set the pots at the places where you want them to go so that you may see more clearly the layout of the garden.

Spend your first afternoon in your new garden getting to know the soil. You should spend time on each plant. Be sure that you are following the planting directions that came with it and work on getting the plant or seed into the ground the correct way.

After you have finished your first day of work in your garden, you should sit back and enjoy. Grab a glass of lemonade and a lawn chair and admire your handiwork. Pretty soon you will need to begin the maintenance for your garden, but for today, you can just sit back and enjoy the view.

Gardening is a gift, and people who have it love the adventure and experience of each day gardening. You could be one of them!

By Julia Mercer

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