How to Start a Backyard GardenDetermine Your Climate Zone. Decide if you are going to grow from seed or transplant seedlings. Plant your seeds or seedlings with care. Either way, work the soil only when it's wet enough to form a loose ball in your fist, but dry enough to melt when you release it.
Digging when the soil is too dry is a harder job and can damage the soil structure if it is too wet. Use a shovel or spade fork to gently twist the top 6 to 8 inches of soil, mixing the organic matter from Step 4 at the same time. Walking on prepared beds compacts the floor, so place plywood boards temporarily to distribute your weight evenly. Seedlings should never be allowed to dry out, so water daily.
It narrows as the plants grow. Transplants also need frequent watering (about every other day) until their roots are established. After that, how often you need to water depends on soil, humidity, and rainfall, though once a week is a good place to start. Clay soil dries more slowly than sandy soil, so you won't need to water it as often.
Sunny and windy conditions dry the soil more quickly than cold, cloudy weather. Not sure yet? Feel the soil 3-4 inches below the surface. If you're feeling dry, it's time to water. Water slowly and deeply, so water absorbs rather than drains.
To minimize evaporation, water early in the morning. As a beginner, start by choosing easy vegetables that are also productive. We have listed ten easy vegetables below. However, it would also be wise to contact your state's Cooperative Extension Service to find out which plants grow best in your area.
For example, if you live in an area with an extremely hot climate, vegetables that prefer cooler temperatures may have problems. Start by mowing the lawn in the planting area as short as possible. Then lower the area with a hose to fully moisten it. Then cover the area with a clear plastic tarp that has been cut to the desired size of your new garden space.
Weigh the edges of the plastic (with bricks, for example) to keep it in place. With moderate sun exposure, the floor under the plastic can heat up to about 140 degrees Fahrenheit. This will burn live grass, weeds, and seeds, and kill bacteria in the soil. Before making plans for your garden, take a look at models like yours.
Don't Google Hawaii's dream garden if you're in Minnesota. Also, talk to your neighbors about what grows well in your hardiness zone. These zones, based on the average annual minimum winter temperature, range from 1 (the coldest) to 13 (the warmest). The USDA has a map; just enter your zip code to see your area and find out what plants grow.
Plus, no matter how healthy your land is, you can't go wrong adding compost to it when you start a garden. Specially designed containers or floors for seedlings and soil mixtures starting with seeds are available at garden centers. These steps will help you start from scratch, but if you have something in mind, you can also use a garden plan to guide your design. Making sure your soil is healthy is one of the first things you should do when starting a garden.
Here is an example of a beginner family garden that mainly uses the common, easy-to-grow vegetables listed above. To start an orchard, check online which plants thrive in your region and then decide what types of plants you want to grow, such as vegetables, flowers, herbs, or a combination. .