Anyone Can Grow A Garden
Getting a garden started for the first time can be a daunting task. There is so much to learn about plants. And each one has specific needs. But it is important to know that gardening doesn’t come naturally for everyone. No one is naturally born with a green thumb. They had to learn how to grow a green thumb. And you can too. I believe we should all learn how to grow a garden. No matter where you live. In an apartment, townhome, suburban house, you can grow something. Having a kitchen garden is one of the best ways to have a more sustainable life.
Find A Virtual Garden Mentor
Last year I planted a garden with no plan or research and it did not work out as I hoped, so I was determined to do better this year. At the beginning of the year, I started studying the necessary steps and found a great virtual mentor, Kevin at Epic Gardening. I stumbled upon his video about the seeds he was planting in his garden. I was so captivated by his enthusiasm
First Things First: Map Out Your Garden
If you are looking where to start when it comes to planting your first garden. Start with a plan. Map out where you are going to plant your vegetables. Study your space. Study the sun pattern with this website called SunCalc. If most of your garden is shaded that’s ok. There are tons of things you can still grow with success. But make sure you select the best plants and the best garden spot possible. Once you have drawn out your garden map its time to do some seed shopping. I really love the unique varieties on Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.
Second: Seed Starting & Proper Lighting
Starting seeds has to be done right if you want to take your garden seriously. Which means this will require a bit of an investment. Seed starting in a window sill typically does not have a high success rate. You have a much higher chance of getting leggy seedlings with this method. But you can try buying a light system like this. Or a professional light
Planting The Seeds
Once you have your lighting set up it is time to plant some seeds. I will take you through the basics, which starts with the soil. You will need to buy good quality seed starting soil. Potting soil does not work because it has harmful bacteria that will easily kill vulnerable seedlings. I bought my organic seed starting mix at Home Depot. I also bought these self-watering trays from Home Depot. I threw out the soil pellets and use the bag of soil instead. Then you want to mix your soil in a large bowl or container that has been sterilized with bleach or alcohol. The soil should feel like a wet sponge that has been rung out. Fill your trays and follow the directions on your seed packet for each seed. Then you want to leave them to germinate under the plastic dome with the lights on for 16 hours every day. We have them on from 5 am-9 pm. And you can buy a power strip with a timer here so you don’t have to worry about it every day.
Learn From Your Rookie Mistakes
Also, you want to make sure that you let the tops of the soil dry out in between watering. Never let the bottoms dry out. But if you let the tops dry out that will prevent you from the hassle of dealing with green algae or mold. We had to learn this the hard way. But that is how we learn to get better and these mistakes get us closer to having a green thumb. I hope this basic run-down helped you out if you are just starting your garden journey. It is such a rewarding thing to sustain yourself by growing your own food!