One issue that would turn off some people from the joys of gardening could be that they started off on a much greater scale than they could manage. In their enthusiasm to get stuck into having their own vegetable growing garden, they went all out initially and suddenly realised that they may have over estimated the size of the job, without realising how much work was involved. Small is more sometimes, so its a good idea to take stock of what we want in terms of having a back garden or perhaps a raised bed or two.
The thing about starting on a small scale is, we can easily manage the amount or size of garden that we plant, its very easy to maintain and the weeding issue is easily contained. Watering or irrigating is very manageable and with a small patch, we do not become overwhelmed by the size of the task that’s before us. After putting our first year behind us, the knowledge and expertise that we will have gained from this exercise will dictate or tell us, what or how much we may want to do in the subsequent years. We have put together a short 6 easy steps to successful gardening checklist for those that are keen begin their journey in the garden.
Select a good location;
When starting out on our gardening adventures for the first time, a good idea would be to select a sunny, semi sheltered location. It’s important that our garden area is not very exposed to the elements. This will help going forward as part of the growing requirements and we will see the benefits of this as our garden matures. Ensure that the area we have selected is not overly rocky, that no tree roots are evident and most importantly check the quality of the soil we have to work with. Once all those factors have been established and the risks eliminated, we can begin.
Build a raised bed;
My next advise for beginner gardeners would be to build a raised bed if at all possible. This gardening system is so easy to manage and maintain and with this method in place, approx 80% of the hard work is removed from our start up project. They are relatively cheap to buy from our local garden centre, nursery, hardware stockist or if we wish, they can be purchased online. Easier still would be to build or construct or own from loose ends of lumber, afterall a raised bed is just four planks or boards nailed together to form a square or rectangle frame. Fill with topsoil, compost or some farmyard manure and we are good to go.
Plant easy to manage vegetables;
Depending on where we live, its always a good idea to start off with vegetables that are easy to grow and manage. Some of these would be salads like lettuces, radishes or spring onions. The main vegetables that require little or maintenance are cabbages, cucumber, tomatoes, peas and onions. Your local gardening centre will always have an adviser on hand to educate and offer some valuable gardening advise, as to what is easy to grow specific to the area thay we live in and the prevailing climate.
Harvest the rainwater;
Harvesting or collecting the rainwater is a good idea, especially if we live in a dry arid climate. It’s very easy to set up, relatively inexpensive to get started and it will save us some money over the long term. All we need is a good sized barrel or container that will hold a substantial amount of run off rainwater, for instance most barrels will hold 40 gallons, so that is a sizeable amount to start with. This will ably assist us with our watering or irrigating exercises in the garden, when necessary. Not only can we use the water for the garden, but it can be utilised for other jobs, like washing the car, power washing a shed, footpath or driveway and so on.
Always remember to mulch;
Mulching is one of the 6 easy steps to successful gardening. It reduces the amount of weeding and maintenance tasks that consume a lot of our time and effort while our gardening is maturing and growing. It’s very easy to do and there are several methods we can use for this exercise. Bark mulch is one of these materials, garden compost or peat can be used, grass cuttings and leaf mould and perhaps some old newspapers would also be useful for this job. Weed barrier or weed block fabric which is available in our hardware stores would also suffice for this process. The idea of mulching is primarily to reduce the task of weeding, but it also protects the soil from drying out thus conserving the moisture and reduces the need to irrigate. It also assists with slug and pest control.
Set up a composting quarter;
As we become more and more experienced in our gardening adventures, we will see the benefit of having some homemade compost for our vegetable garden. All the throw away vegetable leaves and roots can be composted along with hedge trimmings, grass cuttings and some of the garden weedings. Leave these to bio-degrade naturally and over time we will have some organic compost which will naturally fertilise our soil and garden. This exercise reduces the need to purchase fertilizers, so therefore we have vegetables, that are home grown and chemical free, which must count for something.
I trust that this 6 easy step guide to successful gardening will be useful and beneficial to all those who are just starting out on their gardening adventure. They are simple, practical,very easy to follow and should be helpful to the beginner or novice gardener. As ever we are social here at buildingraisedbeds.com and if you would like to join in the conversation, please use the comments section down below. Perhaps you would like to contact us directly through email and if so, you can do so here…