Are you looking to put your green thumb to the test as you finish up the summer? That’s a beautiful idea, but we think that it’s important you keep in mind, a garden literally does not grow overnight. There are many steps you should take in order to make the best of your new hobby, including picking the right gardening location, choosing your plants and your garden’s theme, and keeping everything up.
Establishing whether or not your garden is an herb garden, flower garden or vegetable garden can determine where you grow it! According to Better Homes and Gardens, almost all vegetables and flowers require six hours of sunlight per day. They advise spending a day in your chosen location to determine how the sun moves across the space you’re eyeing for your garden.
The next step is removing any sod around the area to avoid getting nasty weeds. From there, using organic matter becomes your gbff (gardening best friend forever). The use of organic material will improve your garden steadily. Adding a layer, about two to three inches tall, with decayed leaves, manure, or dry grass clippings will help give your garden the boost it needs to bloom.
Next, there is the dilemma of deciding whether or not you should dig your soil. While digging your soil will help roots penetrate through, it’s important that you only dig the soil if it’s at the right consistency. Better Homes and Gardens says that you should dig only when the soil is moist enough to form a loose ball in your fist, but dry enough to fall apart when you drop it. Usually in flower or vegetable gardens, you turn your soil once a year in Spring, before planting.
Of course, our favorite part is picking the plants! There is an element of chemistry that goes into finding the perfect garden companions. For flower gardens, we like Asiatic lilies and Paprika yarrow. Both have that pretty in pink hue we can’t get enough of. Of course, orange lilies and purple salvia also make a beautiful garden. They’re complimentary colors that really invoke a beautiful fall warmth.
As for herb and vegetable gardens, we have come across quite the flavorful combination: Pairing asparagus next to tomato with basil and parsley will help you feel all the cooking feels necessary to enjoy your garden post-growth. Who’s already ready for pasta? Kale is also one of our organic superfood favorites. It has all the benefits of vitamins, is very low in calories and even has some protein. Plus, it pairs well with a number of other healthy herbs like basil, dill, garlic, mint, rosemary, sage or thyme. Yum!
Of course, depending on the climate you live in, it’s important to consider if your plants will survive the weather. While kale braves cold, annual growing flowers usually do not survive cool temperatures. To really understand whether or not your garden will tolerate the weather, you can always look to your local garden center for a list of planting dates. Trust us, these lists are literal garden lifesavers!
What’s left from there is garden maintenance. You have to make sure your seedlings never dry out. It’s important to respond to your garden’s needs. Wilting is a telltale sign that a garden needs some hydration, but what’s most important is watering slowly and deeply. Morning’s are the best time to water your garden. To keep out weeds, cover your garden with a couple inches of mulch that are available in several types, such as pine needles, cocoa hulls, bark chips, or even newspaper. Martha Stewart says that adding mulch between plants also retains soil moisture and helps regulate soil temperature. Bonus!
Much like anything that needs care or comfort to thrive, showing your lawn child some love and support is the most important thing you can do to watch it grow. You’ll be satisfied with the focus you gain and word on the street is that gardening is also calming and relaxing for the soul. You’re in for a triple win with this new hobby and we wish you luck exploring the capabilities of your green thumb during the last few months of summer.