Alright, everyone, we are getting ready for gardening blogging and of course, the very first topic we have to hit on is How to start a Garden from not even a small pinch of knowledge but with very high hopes to harvest something fresh and delicious coming out of the garden.
Let's first know who is teaching you this stuff, we are the Founders of Ethnic Heritage, an apparel brand specialized in women with a strong spirit and kick-ass attitude.
You must think, what that has to do with gardening?, well it doesn't but apart from Ethnic we are gardening-obsessed people, we practice Permaculture concepts in our small garden and advise others to do the same. Here is how our backyard has been transforming just in a couple of years.
When we bought the house, we received the regular lawn backyard where nothing is happening there. Don't get me wrong, it does look green and lush and it is way better than dirt but stay with me reading to see my point
Little by little, we started to transform the place into something enjoyable, in addition to it the process to create a space full of life is also rewarding in your health, in your mental peace, and especially in memories with your loved ones along the way.
Here is a sneak peek of how we started and where we stand so far, a garden is a never-ending adventure, it changes every season, and also every year makes it different.
Ok then, let's get serious about how you get started
1.- The most important thing ( Trust in yourself)
What? Yes, no matter your age, physical capabilities, knowledge, gender, income, or strength, whether you will only have a patch full of healing herbs or a garden of acres, knowing that you can do it makes the absolute difference. ( Here is me loaded with gardening pride showing off my bounties)
2.- Choose the space you want to use
Here is the deal, there are all kinds of variables about soil, water, light, etc. where we get all confused but to keep it super simple, pick a place with 8 hours of sun, the rest can be solved one way or the other but a place that gets most of the sunlight cannot be fixed later on. If you also want to evaluate other variables, make sure your water spigot is not outrageously far unless you're looking to have a good exercise session every time you have to water your plants.
3.- Preparing the space you carefully choose.
I'm going to focus on helping you to make a raised bed, this is a bed that you'll build or buy, the reason I prefer to go over raised beds is that it is way better when you start to garden in one instead of preparing the ground in your property.
They are made of wood, metal, stones, logs, I even have seen how gardeners use bricks or any other materials they have at home and build a raised bed. The bed will contain good soil from a garden center and moisture that you introduce when watering your plants.
If you also host some carpenter skills inside you, I would recommend building your beds with wood, here is a video from James Prigioni that shows you the steps to make a bed that will last for years. I have learned so much from him and has an amazing vibe so I encourage you to check out some other videos.
4.- The Soil. ( Where the magic happens)
There is so much to discuss related to the soil but we are taking things simple to kickstart the garden, so I recommend buying bags from the store, from Home depot I really like Kellogg Soil, they make a good variety and it does have the necessary nutrients and components that will make your plants thrive.
5.- Give your plants a new home.
Now we have a raised bed with great soil inside. Start with Herbs, peppers, eggplants. I know we all want to feel the success of growing heirloom varieties of eye-catching tomatoes but tomatoes aren't easy and in many cases, they are the reason why people drop the garden life. The frustration of little harvest and too much effort haunts us all when it comes to a difficult crop with little rewards.
In many cases water is the reason everything goes to hell, you will hear horror stories of plants full of fungi and critters that tear them apart and in many of the cases, the reason is the way you water them.
In a simple concept, plants do not need water every day, the roots of the plant seek the water in the soil, by deep watering them in an infrequent way you help them to grow strong roots, on the contrary watering every day or even 2 times a day makes them lazy and prone to diseases. Avoid as well water the leaves, aim always to the base and keep leaves dry, plants enjoy the water in the roots but struggle with water in the leaves as it is a magnet of fungi diseases.
Here is the ingredient that completes the strategy, if you didn't exactly buy into the concept of watering your plants infrequently, mulching them will change your mind. Mulch is organic matter in the form of wood chips, straw, hale, pine needles, dry leaves, compost, etc. The main purpose of mulch is to retain the moisture of the soil covering the top layer from the sun and avoiding it to dry out. Mulch has more traits in the garden but I'll stay in the moisture advantage since it will clear any doubts about watering less.
As you protect the bare soil from the sun, it will remain moist until the next watering, a soil that remains moist maintains the microbiology growing in it and it is that same microbiology that feeds your plants and helps them to be strong and disease resistant
That's it, for now, friends, these small steps will get you going with absolutely any crop you want to try out, remember it should be something that grows in your area and nothing too exotic that takes your intentions away.
Let us know how it goes.
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