Gardening is proven to improve mental well-being, something that is especially important during troubling times like these. It gets you outside, working on a fulfilling project, and in the end, a reward of fresh and delicious vegetables. Getting your hands dirty while watching nature at work is a beautiful way to soothe the soul. If you’ve never gardened before, now is the perfect time to start. Here are five steps to get you started:
1. Make a Plan
To have a successful garden, it is best to do a little planning. Questions to ask yourself: Where can I plant a garden? What space do I have available? Don’t worry if you don’t have a lot of space. Planting can be done entirely in containers and placed on the deck or balcony. You don’t have to have a yard to start a garden. After figuring out your space, decide what to grow. Be realistic. Research the space needs for each vegetable and determine where it will go.
2. Find Your Growing Zone
Like learning your Myers-Briggs personality type, this is very helpful information. Essential, actually. Knowing your growing zone will allow you to know what types of plants might thrive in your area each season. This is like knowing the gardening language that allows you to read seed packets and plant labels. Most plant labels and seed packets have recommendations based on each growing zone. Look yours up at planthardiness.ars.usda.gov!
3. Order Seeds
You’ve got to have seeds to start a garden! There are many online sources. Look for ones that cater to your particular area and climate. Regional seed sources are the best. One of the best places to buy seeds is a local plant store our online at www.johnnyseeds.com.
4. Start Seedlings
Now is the perfect time to start seeds indoors. This way, they’ll get a head-start on growing. Then, when the outdoor temperatures are amenable, you’ll be ready to plant. Peas, kale, and other cold-tolerant vegetables can be planted outside now. If you don’t have time to start your own seedlings, visit growingplacesindy.org as they offer a variety plant starts to help give you a jump start.
5. Nurture and Grow
Water, weed and nurture the plants to maturity. Each vegetable has its own requirements, so be sure to research each one so you can give it the best care. It is best to start small, plan for what you can handle, and be patient. Get yourself outdoors, get your hands dirty, and have some fun.