• Abby Formanack

6 Steps to Starting A Garden

Updated: Feb 26

So you want to finally take the plunge and start a garden? Starting a garden can seem intimadating with the amount of information availble online ~ paired with all of the opinions out there. The beautiful part of gardening.....there is no right or wrong way. Now some very opinionated people may say otherwise... but just do it. Plant the seeds and start the garden ~ prepare for a learning curve, and just Don't give up! Here are some straight forward first steps to turn your dream into a reality!

1. Map Your Garden

The first step to starting a garden is to know what space you have to work with. This may be as simple as figuring out how manyplanters will fit on your patio ~ or as in depth as figuring out how many row feet of beans you need to supply enough for your entire family for the year. The scale at which you plan is completely up to you and your goals for your vegetables!

Start out by making a rough sketch from an arial view. Yes, there are apps for this if you wish ~ and I have also made a video about how I use google sheets to map out our entire homestead -

here

!

2. Know Your Zone

Once you have an idea of how much space you actually have to use, you need to find out what growing zone you are growing in. A growing zone is how the country is divided based on how cold/long winters are in different areas ~ that will determine what plants can be grown as perennials (plants that will keep coming back year after year) and also when you can start seeds and plant them outside.

You can look-up your zone

HERE

by searching your zip code.

3. Choose What to Grow

This is where it gets tricky for me to tell you what to do. My main advice to new gardeners that are just starting out ~ grow what you eat. I know that all the beautiful seed packs are so tempting, but ultimitely if you are going to be putting time and $$ into gardening, you at least want to know that you will use what you grow! So pick you and your families favorites to start with.

4. Source Seeds or Plants

Now that you know what you want to grow ~ the fun part, buying seeds or plants. Not everyone has the space and time to start seeds and that is FINE. Hop on google and find a local greenhouse near you. I can almost garuntee that if you find a small Mom and Pop type business you will get much better quality plant starts rather than going to a big box store. Starting with the best quality plants will lower your chances for disease and pests, but when it comes down to it a plant is a plant and you can always perk them up with some TLC.

For seeds I prefer Organic Heirloom varieties. Heirlooms are varieties thats seeds can be saved and re-used the next season ( This is why they are my favorite!) Some of my favorite placed to buy seeds include : MiGardener, Baker Creek, HighMowing Seed and Seed Saver Exchange.

5. Maintain the Garden

This may feel like the less fun part to some, but if you want to grow plants ~ you need to maintain the area that they are growing in. Keep weeds clear so that your beloved plants are not competing for space or nutrients in the soil. Keep an eye out for little creepy crawlers that may be attempting to eat the foliage or the produce.

6. Enjoy Your Bounty

There will come a time when your produce is ready to harvest. Enjoy every moment!

Now, what are you going to plant??

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