Austin, TX – Adding a garden to your home can be a fun and therapeutic way to keep busy, increase sustainability, and add appealing value to your home, all while falling in love with a new hobby. If you are considering starting your home garden or need a little reminder for maintaining your current garden, here are some tips you can use.
1. Find the Right Spot
Much like real estate, starting a garden is all about finding the right location to plant your roots. Set up your garden where it can be seen regularly and attended to easily.
2. Understand the Sun’s Placement
It’s important to understand where the sun will hit in your yard to determine what type of plants you place in your garden. Many fruits, vegetables, and herbs require at least 6 hours of sunlight per day to thrive, while other plants do better in low-light conditions.
3. Stay Near Water
Start your garden close enough to the water hose so you don’t have to carry a watering can to and from your garden. You will tell when your garden needs my water if the top inch of soil is dry.
4. Choose the Right Plants
It’s essential to understand your growing conditions and how plants will tolerate your home environment. Do your research and pick a variety of plants that have the potential to thrive n your space. The most common starter plants are lettuce, radish, herbs, tomatoes, succulents, sunflowers, spinach, marigolds, and zucchinis.
5. Know Your Zones
Hardiness Zones describe the coldest place a plant can grow. The higher the zone number, the warmer the climate. So if a plant is “hardy to zone 4” and you garden in zone 5, that plant will survive in your yard. If, however, you’re in zone 3, it’s too cold to grow that particular plant. Central Texas is in the range of 8 and 9 on the Hardiness Zone.
6. Learn Your Freeze Dates
It can be easy to kill your plants by putting them out prematurely. You need to know the last freeze date of the spring, so you don’t plant too early, and the first average freeze date of the fall so you can harvest plants or move them indoors. For Central Texas, Spring freeze dates are March 1 through March 31, and Fall freeze dates are November 1 through November 15.
7. Select the Right Soil and Add Mulch
Invest in soil that is nutrient-rich and well-drained. Achieve this just-right blend by mixing 3 inches of soil into the top 6 to 8 inches of existing soil if you’re planning to plant in the ground. If you’re planting in a raised bed, use raised bed soil, which is the perfect weight and texture for raised bed growing. Cover your soil with much to reduce weeds and moisture loss.
8. Feed Plants Regularly
Along with great soil, you will want to boost your plants’ nutrition with high-quality plant food. Give your plants a serving of plant food about a month after planting your garden and continue to supplement every 7 to 14 days for outdoor plants.