If there is one thing that 2020 taught us, we all need a hobby, and what better hobby to have than gardening. Yes, you might say it is a bit messy and strenuous, but you connect with nature. Plus, look you get to grow your own plants, be it for cooking or the cute flowers you see on Instagram. You get to create this all on your own. So now you’re on board with the idea of starting your home garden, what are the factors that you should consider before starting the home garden that will maintain it to attain longevity.
Considerations before starting your home garden
1. Purpose of the garden
You cannot jump into gardening without knowing what you want to achieve with your garden. Do you want to use it to plant flowers or do you want to grow your own herbs and spices? The purpose of the garden is quite essential in determining the type of plants you would grow. If you decide on flowers then you will be able to know the type of flowers that you would plant in the home garden. Would you want seasonal flowers or flowers that will beautify your garden all year long? If it is herbs used in cooking at home, how often will you be planting the herbs? What measures have you put in place if these are the herbs you will be using in your day-to-day cooking? All this needs to be considered before you can embark on your gardening journey.
Climate varies from place to place. You need to know the weather patterns of the area you live in before starting your home garden. Climate will help you a great deal to determine whether you should consider putting up a greenhouse that will sustain the plants you want to grow. It will also help you know how to take care of your plants. Would you need to water them daily? Is it necessary for you to look for an alternative source of light for your plants? What type of plants do well in such a climate? Knowing all these will save you all those days of disappointments when none of your plants germinate.
3.Type of Soil in the garden
Soil is a very important factor for the well-being of your home gardening plants. What type of soil is good for the plants you want to grow? Which soil will you use in your garden? If you decide to use the soil found in your compound, you need to consider improving its fertility. This can be through adding store-bought fertilizer or using manure.
4. Your work schedule.
Gardening requires hard work and determination for the first few days before you get to relax and watch your garden blossom. Be it watering the plants to pruning and weeding and preventing pests from harming your garden. You should put measures in place to ensure that neither the plant nor your work is overwhelmed by the other. Look for a good schedule that will work for you.
After considering all these things, I think it is time to start your home garden. Always start small, don’t bite more than you can chew. Start with a small section and see how that turns out. Do not also start with so many varieties of plants. By now you have already done enough research on the type of plants that are more likely to survive in your area. Plant not more than three types of flowers or herbs and see how that goes. If it works then try with another and see how it goes. Also, brace yourself for disappointment. You might have done everything right and still, something will go wrong and your plants won’t germinate. Do not be discouraged, it’s just a bad day, not a bad life.
Put your plants in an area with enough sunlight. Remember that Biology class on factors to consider during germination, this is the time to use that knowledge. Plants essentially require three main things to grow; moisture, air, and sunlight. Ensure that all these are readily available in your garden to produce the best results.
Research on home gardening techniques
Extensive research on how deep your seeds need to be is very important. You plant your seeds too deep and they may not have enough strength to germinate to the top, you plant them too shallow and your roots may not have enough length to place their anchorage. Carrots for example need to be planted ¼ inch deep and 3 inches apart while cucumbers are better off 6 inches apart and 1 inch deep.
Having basic gardening tools is also an important factor when thinking of starting a home garden. Have pruning shears that will tame those plants that want to go overboard. Get a pair of gloves to reduce the mess and prevent any injuries. And how about that gardening fork that will help in loosening up the soil. Get a hoe to help you when planting the seeds. How about a garden hose, those plants are not going to water themselves. Invest in such tools to not only make your work easier but also help you attain the full potential of your garden. They might be costly at first but the results will surely pay off.
If you are afraid of starting the planting process from scratch then you can always opt to use seedlings. These are pre-planted and have already reached a certain level before you can transplant them to your garden. This works for both flowers and homegrown herbs. You should ensure that the hole you have dug is deep enough for the already formed roots of the plant. The plant should be watered and the soil fertile enough for the plant to continue growing in its new environment. A list of flowers that can be transplanted include;
Herbs used at home that can be transplanted include
Lastly, remember to give your plants enough room for them to grow. Do not overcrowd them in one place since they will start fighting for nutrients and some won’t make it. Always have patience with the plants in your home garden. Give them ample time to grow. Remember Rome was not built in a day.