There are many benefits to be had from starting your own garden. Creating and tending to a garden is a rewarding and healthy activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. If your available space options are limited, plants will thrive in containers, window boxes, balcony or a section of the driveway with care. There are many compact plant varieties available that are ideal for small spaces. Seed packets have words like mini, dwarf, or patio to guide. Gardening stores offer advice for planting in containers or a small raised bed. Most plants require ample sunlight to thrive therefore garden planning is important. Start by observing how much sunlight your yard or patio gets as to where plants are best to be planted. While many plants thrive in direct sunlight others enjoy some shade during hot days, for example, salad greens.

Next, we come to layout: Whether it’s stepping stones or space between your pots, keep in mind you’ll want easy access to your plants for watering, weeding, and harvesting. Plants like air circulating between them so some space between each beneficial Once you’ve found your space, it’s time to prepare your soil, an essential step towards growing a successful garden. You don’t need to truck in large amounts of organic soil, you can build up what you have from your own back yard, if possible. Simply add compost, manure, leaves, other green waste to your existing soil. Mix it all in leaving it loose and fluffy thus adding air and allowing nature to work its magic, breaking it down to gardening gold!

Now the fun part – what to plant?!: When it comes to edibles, there are miniature fruit trees, berries tomatoes, and cucumbers, and an array of vegetables; spinach and lettuces, etc. There’s quite a variety to choose from and the good news for beginners is, that it’s relatively easy to grow the vast majority of them.

  • To help you narrow down your choices, consider the following:
  • What do you want your garden to look like? e.g what colors and shapes would you like to
  • see?
  • How much space are you working with? dress lettuce for example is suitable for a smaller
  • garden while vegetables such as pumpkin and cucumber require space to grow
  • Benefits from companion planting? E.g the placement of vegetables and herbs that have
  • been shown to have a beneficial effect on each other.
  • What time of year is it? Cooler weather crops like peas, carrots, and cabbage can be sown in
  • early spring, while tomatoes, melons, and cucumbers need warm frost-free conditions.
  • And the most important consideration of all: ‘What do you want to eat?!’

Once you know what you’re planting, simply follow these tips and you’ll be eating your own fresh and delicious produce in no time!

  1. Consider starting your garden indoors if it’s still cold out, window boxes,
  2. Make sure you’re using good soil
  3. Check your plants daily
  4. Don’t get discouraged

And finally, always remember: Even the most experienced gardeners can have issues – pests or excessive rain or water for example will affect your plants. The key is to figure out what went wrong and how you can mitigate those circumstances next time. You always have another chance with plants!