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How to Plan Your First Garden


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How to Plan Your First Garden

Plant the Seeds for a Successful Harvest

It’s no secret that gardening is wonderful for your health. You can help reduce the use of chemicals and pesticides and get to eat wonderfully nutritious fruits and vegetables. If you’ve never gardened, getting started may seem a little daunting. But with some research, patience and hard work, your garden will thrive!

1What to Plant?

First decide what types of plants, vegetables and/or flowers you want to grow. Do some research on what will grow the best where you live based on climate and the season you will begin planting. Each plant is unique and may require special conditions to flourish. Some plants need a lot of space or sunlight, while others may need less.

whatIf you’re thinking about produce, consider varieties that you enjoy eating or that would be cheaper to grow yourself. To help both the environment and your garden, choose plants that attract bees and butterflies (some of which may be on the endangered species list). Pollination will help your garden flourish, and it supports the ecosystem. Many crops require pollination to produce edible and nutritious fruits and vegetables.

2Where to Plant?

Decide how you want to arrange your plants according to which sections of your garden will get the most sunlight or shade. From your research, you’ll know which plants need more sun or shade to grow. To maximize your space, be aware of whether your plants are known to climb vertically or to roam.

did_you_know2

Vertically climbing plants can be used as shade or support for other plants.

Want to have something to harvest throughout the season? After one crop is harvested, another can be planted in the same space based on growing season and climate.

3Caring for Your Garden

After you’ve planted the seeds for your garden, make sure each plant gets the proper amount of water. Plants that need more moisture should be planted in parts of your garden that are slightly lower because they will retain more water. You can make sure your plants are getting the proper nutrients by using natural fertilizer or compost.

careInstead of using chemical pesticides to ward off pests, you can plant insectary plants, which attract pest-controlling insects like ladybugs and hoverflies. Or you can include plants that do attract pests in your garden. This is known as “trap cropping,” and it’s used to divert harmful insects away from your main crops to the “decoy” plant.

When it comes to planning your garden, there are no hard-and-fast rules. You can experiment to find the perfect formula for you. For more help planning your garden, you can even download layouts, designs, and planning worksheets like these from vegetable-gardening-online.com.

comment_2A little hard work can go a long way, and you can provide delicious fruits and vegetables for your family—or simply something beautiful to enjoy. What are your favorite things to plant? We’d love to hear your tips and tricks! Just leave us a comment below.

Resources:

Which type of plant do you most enjoy growing?

View Results
 
Edible:
 
69%
Beautiful:
 
31%
Total Votes:
193
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Amy Hepfner
Amy Hepfner
4 years ago

We have several raised bed gardens and plant heritage seeds which we then harvest the seeds at the end of the growing season for next years seeds. One thing I learned at the Mother Earth News Fair in Wisconsin last summer was to have a rock or some sort of place for butterflies to rest and warm their wings in your gardens. I have a large rock in 3 of my gardens where the butterflies would want to be…one in a bed of milk weed, one by my butterfly plant and one in my bee balm. I’m always excited to see butterflies and bees (especially bumble bees) in my gardens.

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Admin
Moderator
4 years ago
Reply to  Amy Hepfner

That is such a great idea! Thanks for sharing, Amy!

Tanya Aoyagi
Tanya Aoyagi
4 years ago
Reply to  Amy Hepfner

I love that idea!

Lia Thompson
Lia Thompson
3 years ago
Reply to  Amy Hepfner

What an amazing sounding garden you have 🙂

Tanya Aoyagi
Tanya Aoyagi
4 years ago

We are planning to grow our first raised beds this year, so I am researching what veggies will do best with our part sun, part shade!

Amy Hepfner
Amy Hepfner
4 years ago
Reply to  Tanya Aoyagi

Tanya, where are you located? Usually vegetables like full sun…but peas and beans like cooler weather. I would suggest that you find a garden center that has an “expert” gardener on staff and talk to them. You could also contact jungseed.com in Wisconsin. They have experts there who can help you out. If you want to get into heritage seeds and saving them from year to year try seedsavers.org. They also have a very helpful staff. Hope you have a successful and abundant garden!!

Mary McGovern
Mary McGovern
4 years ago

I really enjoyed this! What are some plants that will attract butterflies and bees, plants that are insectary and “trap cropping” plants? Thanks!

Amy Hepfner
Amy Hepfner
4 years ago
Reply to  Mary McGovern

Hi Mary, some plants that are great for bees and butterflies are butterfly bush, bee balm, milk weed plants attract butterflies, especially monarchs, lavender, salvia, Russian sage, echinacea (cone flower) and many of the wildflowers will attract bees and butterflies. I’ve also see them in my herb gardens in my basil and oregano when they flower. I’m just getting into trap crops myself and there’s a good article on it with planting ideas. https://www.growveg.com/guides/trap-cropping-to-control-pests/ I hope this helps and happy gardening!!

Jennifer Rottman
Jennifer Rottman
4 years ago

I tried my first garden this year. Will need to do some research and try something different next year. This article was wonderful. I love planting edible because it helps save on the grocery bill and helps feed my guinea pigs and bunny.

Gingi Freeman
Gingi Freeman
3 years ago

I am planning on starting a square foot garden this coming spring! <3

Arthur
Arthur
2 months ago

I love this article! a debt of gratitude is in order for 
sharing a lot of Information.