Green Thumb Advice for Starting a Garden

View of Wilmington North Carolina from across the river

No matter how big or small, your outdoor space has so much potential! With March marking the beginning of gardening season, it’s time to start digging into your garden plans now.

It Starts with an Idea

Do you want to grow your own produce, do you have a passion for herbs, or do you want more color in your yard? It all starts with the ultimate purpose that you want your garden to fulfill. Once you have that goal in mind, formulate a plan on the best place in your yard that will make your dream garden flourish. Almost all vegetables and most flowers need around six hours of full sun, but many plants will also tolerate shade. Do some research, check plant tags, or ask a staff member at your local garden center. You will also want to plan the design of your garden before you start digging. Online resources like this interactive plan-a-garden tool will help your concept come together!

Now Start Digging!

The most important part of your garden is the soil, and keeping it rich with nutrients will make your plants flourish. After digging out the sod covering your future garden, add 2 to 3 inches of compost, decayed leaves, dry grass clippings, or old manure to enrich your soil. After this organic material decomposes, use a spade or shovel to gently turn the top 8-12 inches of soil. This digging will loosen the soil so plant roots can penetrate more easily. An important point to remember is to only dig when the soil is moist enough to form a loose ball in your hand, but dry enough to fall apart when you drop it.

Green Thumb Advice

It’s all about planting at the right time, providing plenty of water, and pulling those evil weeds. As far as an appropriate planting time, pansies are very tolerable to cold temperatures, so they can be planted in the autumn or winter months. Annual flowers and tomato plants, however, should not be planted until the danger of frost is officially over. Watering is also a critical component to a healthy garden. Water slowly and deeply so the soil and plants can soak it all in. Watering your garden early in the morning will minimize evaporation in the hot summer months. Weeding is also important as it keeps your garden beautiful and protects your plants’ roots. Using a liquid fertilizer once a month will also go a long way to give you a healthy garden.

Whatever you decide to do for your garden, it’s important to keep it manageable and not overdo it. Start small and grow your green thumb knowledge as you garden grows with you!

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Equal Housing Lender LogoALCOVA Mortgage LLC | NMLS#40508 | (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)
Licensed in AL, CO, DC, FL, GA, KY, MD, NC, OH, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, WV | 308 Market St SE, Roanoke, VA 24011