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Gardening 101: How To Start A Garden

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Want to start a garden? Here are a few tips to get you on the right track.

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all right so you're looking to start a garden well what do you need to do where do you start I was out just getting our garden all set up this year and I thought I would kind of walk through some of the steps if you're just getting into gardening or it's been a long time since you've had a garden and you want to get started whether you're in a country setting a suburban setting an apartment where ever you are and you'd like to just learn to start and there's so many ways to to garden whether you have smaller large spaces for those container gardening raised bed gardening or traditional gardening and I have a combination of those all here so where do you start so the first thing you need to figure out when you're looking to start a new garden is where are you going to put it you need to pay attention to your yard and especially pay attention to where you get the most amount of sunlight generally most of your crops that you're going to grow are going to do well in full Sun some crops like leafy greens and other things are going to do ok and part shade also but generally everything will do pretty good in full Sun with very few exceptions so there are actually a few different apps that you can get for Android or iPhone that you can use to track the Sun path during different times of the year so even if you're planning your garden out in the winter time you can use the app to set it to let's say July and figure out exactly where the path of Sun is gonna be in your yard you want to use that to figure out where you're gonna get the best amount of sunlight once you have a place picked out in your yard and you're you're ready to get started you need to figure out what you're gonna grow now generally people especially new gardeners you want to go to the seed store and you look at all these great seeds on the rack or whatever at Home Depot or Ace Hardware or whatever it is that you go and you're gonna want to just pick out a whole bunch of stuff oh that looks good oh that was good I want to try that I want to try that there's nothing wrong with trying new things but I would encourage you to stay focused on things that you eat things that you eat the most and also things that you can preserve so pay attention to what your family is using the most of if you guys have salads every day you want to grow a lot of salad greens if you guys eat a lot of tomato or tomato products you want to grow a lot of tomatoes you it's always great to try and experiment with new things but you also just want to make sure the core of what you're growing is things that you're going to use there's nothing worse than planting a garden weeding it taking care of it awesome and then not really wanting to eat half the stuff you grew when it comes to August or September so once you have some things picked out it's time to look at seeds now the best thing to do is buy your seeds earlier in the year so even during the wintertime months especially if you're in the northern climates you can get better deals on seeds usually then and I would recommend getting stuff online a little bit early if you can I'll put a link in the description to where I get almost all of my seeds for our home our kitchen garden here and that's mi gardener my gardener has a youtube channel also here on YouTube and he has a great seed store they're very inexpensive seeds they come with a great amount for small gardens in each packet and it's very affordable you get a 10 cent discount on each packet they're only 99 cents apiece already and they're only 89 cents after if you use the link in the description so check out my gardener seed store he's got just about everything that you could that you could want there so once you have your seeds it's time to figure out which things you need to start inside and which things that you can direct sow in the ground now this it really the varies on where you live here in the northern climates where we're going to want to start some things inside any of your hot weather crops peppers tomatoes melons any of the things that on the seed packet it says the harvest is longer than 90 days you want to make sure that you get those things started inside and it'll tell you on the seed packet if they're a 120 day harvest then you want to make sure that stuff has started inside there's lots of different videos that I've done and all those have done on how to start seeds inside I would have you check the the eye up in the corner there for some of those videos if you're interested you want to make sure that you start those things early in the northern climates if you don't start your tomatoes and peppers early you're probably not going to get a very good harvest now if you're in the warmer climates down south you don't have to worry too much about that you can probably start a lot of your seeds right in the ground in March or April so now it's time to prepare your garden space there's so many different ways to do this you need to make a decision are you gonna do raised bed gardens or are you gonna do a traditional garden now there's lots of benefits to both traditional gardening is easy easy to get started you can tow up a small spot of land with a shovel or rake you know whatever you want to do if you have a hint of motorized tiller you can you can start till up a patch land and you can start gardening you can amend the soil a little bit maybe with some compost or some other things where you're planting and you're ready to go raise my gardening has a lot of great benefits but you do have to purchase wood and build the raised beds or buy the raised beds and then you have to fill them with soil even though they are a great way to go if you're just getting started don't be discouraged and pumping a bunch of money into your garden it's easy to start with traditional gardening if you've got the extra money in time and you want to get those raised beds set up there a little bit better long-term investment and they're a little easier as far as weeding and caring for the garden throughout the year now we talk about soil amendments what kind of soil do you can you just throw stuff right in the ground do we need to do anything with the soil I would definitely encourage you to do some type of amendment to your soil whether you're gonna do a soil mix in a raised bed or just traditional gardening with tilling in some manures and other organic matters you don't need to get as scientific as having your soil test and all that kind of stuff but generally the more organic matter you have the better if you have a local farm and you can get a load pack up truckload of compost or something like that and mix it in with your soil that would be great way to start if you want a better soil mix I did a whole video on the best soil mix that we have found here and it includes sand peat moss and manure compost if you want to just go small and be real basic go to your Home Depot or Lowe's or whatever your home improvement store is Ace Hardware and pick up a bag a place and a bag of peat moss and two bags of manure compost mix it together and you're gonna have a great soil mix so that's just a real easy kind of bagged way to go and you can use that to amend soil or even fill a raised bed we talked about gardening and we talked about soil amendments we can't talk about that without talking about compost if you haven't already started a compost pile start one right now it's one of the easiest and cheapest way is to get yourself some really good soil every single year for your garden kitchen scraps yard waste tree clippings leaves whatever you have around you can use that in a very simple composting method without any fancy bins or barrels or anything like that take a section in your corner of your yard somewhere and make a pile that's all you need to do make a pile turn it once or twice a year with a pitchfork or shovel and you've got yourself some good compost in one year's time nothing fancy about it very easy to get started and it doesn't require any special bins and plans or anything like that if you've already started a compost pile great get out your compost from last year mix it in with your soil whether it's locally right around each plant or tilling it into your whole traditional garden section or whether mixing it in with a raised bed that fresh compost is a great way to get nutrients to your plants all right so you're ready to get started planting there's lots of different ways to plant various kinds of vegetables I'm not going to go through how to plant everything generally the best thing to do is to look at the back of your seed packets if you're buying from my gardener there's a very good instructions detailed description on what the seeds are gonna grow for you what they're used for what the vegetables are used for and how to plant them follow that and you'll be in good shape one thing you want to pay attention to when you're planting is your sunlight if you're gonna grow a bunch of very tall things like corn or sunflowers or other tall vegetables or trellising things you don't want to have that on the south side of your garden where it's going to be shading the rest of your crops so on the north side of all your garden patches where you're going to want to have all of your tallest stuff the shortest thing that should go on the south side that's going to make sure that as the Sun is tracing across the sky that you don't get anything shaded in your garden for longer than just to maybe a half an hour or so the shade the the shadows will move through your garden very quickly and they'll be very short and then you won't have trouble with things not getting sunlight caring for your garden is extremely important once you have things in the ground you're not done the biggest mistake that gardeners make especially first-year gardeners is letting weeds get away from you you have to stay out there as soon as you've planted but not more than one week should go by before you get back out into your garden and make sure you've picked all the little weeds that are gonna start coming up especially if you're using a fresh yard or manure compost you're gonna have lots of little grass seeds and things like that that are gonna be coming up get on that stuff right away and you won't have trouble with weeds your plants are gonna grow better and you're gonna feel a lot better about what you've done another thing you can do to control weeds is what I've done in our whole garden here and use woodchips woodchips are a free resource in our area anyway almost every city that I've been to has some type a collection point for all of their tree waste they go into trim trees throughout the year if piles are the stuff you can go take it for free if your city doesn't have that check your neighboring cities you probably will find something somewhere comp this this wood chip mulch is an excellent way to keep weeds down between plants we cover our entire gardens with it every year around all of our plants it works very very well water water water water is very important especially for a young garden roots are very fragile things are very small seeds need to be you know while they're germinating they have to stay wet it's great to get yourself a fan sprinkler sans sprinklers I have found to be the absolute best way to water a garden unless you're going to use some type of a permanent irrigation system with drip irrigation or something like that fan sprinklers are easy to move they are very gentle on your garden they cover a very large space that are great for seedlings as well as adult plants get yourself a good fan sprinkler I'll put a link in the description to one on Amazon that's not cheap it's a metal one this one I got from Ace Hardware it's all metal as well don't buy cheap fan sprinklers they're junk they will break they will leak the little gears won't work in them and and just buy a good sprinkler if you don't have a good sprinkler you're not going to water your garden enough and your gear just things are not going to go well you're not going to have time to hand water everything once your plants are established they're nice and tall they don't need to be watered quite as much it's not gonna hurt to water them every other day but you probably could get away with going on a vacation for a few days as long as it's not too hot and dry and not watering your garden but if you are going on vacation for more than a week or even a week make sure that you have somebody stop by and turn your sprinkler on at least one of those days especially if it's hot and dry we've made the mistake before of not watering come back to a dead garden so you want to make sure that everything stays nice and nice and moist and watered keep those weeds down and you're going to end up having a great great harvest when it comes time in July August and September harvesting time is the the reward of all the work and all the time and all the waiting it's a great time be prepared for what you're going to harvest make sure that you have canning supplies ready and sure that you have ways to preserve the things that you have if you're going to do vacuum-sealed and freezers or you're gonna do canning or you're gonna make things into jellies or jams or spaghetti sauces or whatever plan ahead weeks ahead of your harvest time if you're up in the northern hemisphere like we are you're not going to start getting Tomatoes probably until August at the earliest and August and September even into October sometimes be prepared to you're gonna have a whole lot of stuff coming in at once and you want to be ready to preserve that stuff there's nothing worse than growing a big healthy garden all year long and then wasting so much food because you didn't have time to preserve it think of the easy ways freezing and vacuum sealing is one of the best ways to go I'll put a link in the description again to a great vacuum sealer on Amazon they're an inexpensive investment and it's very very easy you can dice things up throw them in there vacuum seal it throw it in the freezer and you're done now of course depending on what you drew there's lots of thing lots of ways to utilize your garden all throughout the year especially by staggering your planting so if you really want to make the most of your time and your harvest throughout the year plant your quick growing things like your radishes and your leafy greens and things like that is staggered planting so plant some at the beginning of the year that maybe two or three weeks later plant another roll or another section of like lettuces and things like that and then do the same thing in three weeks later that gives you a good staggered harvest for those kinds of things because lettuces and all your other leafy greens once they grow to mature they're not good anymore they generally will go to seed they get bitter you want the youngest leaves off the lettuces and things like that even for kales and spinach is and a lot of those things so staggering your planting is a great way to go to make the most of your harvest season for those types of plants alright so you've got all your vegetables you've harvested your garden but you're not quite done yet cover that ground the best thing to do to prepare your garden for the next year is to cover that ground whether you use a cover crop like a winter weed or something else that's going to grow into November and even to December you it's good to keep root to the ground and things growing the other thing you can do is use your leaf compost and other things from around the house leaf mulch Azure straw woodchips cover that garden keeps it wet keeps it moist keeps the worms and bacterias and other things in your garden it doesn't dry out it doesn't blow away you've got you prepare and hold that the nutrients and moisture that you have in that garden space for the next year so make sure that you cover the space leave all your your plants and all that stuff that tomato stocks uns and sunflower stocks that have died off leave that stuff all on the ground you can take that out next year whatever hasn't broken down but all that stuff the nutrients in those stocks is going to go right back into the soil and get you ready for your next year so for those of you out there looking to start a garden hopefully you found some good information here all you professional gardeners out there have something to add throw it down below in the comments that way everybody can see it and learn from it as well so hopefully you guys found this informational tap that thumbs up button on the video for me subscribe if you want to follow along and as always thanks for watching have a good one