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How to Create and Maintain a Home Garden


The following is an article reproduced from the Redfin Blog.

May 5, 2021 by Mike Cahill

Whether you're growing flowers, fruits or vegetables, creating your own home garden can be one of the most rewarding projects to take on as a homeowner. However, if you're new to gardening it can be a little difficult to know where to start. But with some help it doesn't have to be all that complicated! That's why we reached out to the gardening experts from Toronto to Miami to provide you with a few creative tips and tricks for getting your home garden started.

Choose your seeds wisely

Growing a cut flower garden is easy if you know what to look for when selecting flower seeds! To ensure you have a bouquet every week, choose flowers with different blooming times by comparing the optimal planting date and days to maturity between each type. Make sure to choose flowers with complementary colors, varying bloom sizes, and different textures for beautiful and cohesive arrangements. Choose a few types you are familiar with growing to make the learning curve gentler, but make sure to try a few new seeds each year, you may just find a new favorite to grace your garden and home. – Halden Garden

At Gardens for Health International, we focus on creating resilient food systems with accessible local resources. We teach Rwandan families tips to make nutritious gardening easy and fun: avoid buying ready-to-go plants, and instead source seeds from farmers' markets or community gardeners, so that they have a better chance of thriving in your home's soil. If you don't have garden space, you can use fabric bags with lightweight soil mixes, and if you're squeezed for time, grow low-maintenance veg like lettuce, tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, herbs, kale, and eggplant.
– Gardens for Health International

Take advantage of live plant plugs

The easiest way to establish a native prairie around your home is to plant live plant plugs. They are small and easy to plant. By the end of the season, you will have full-grown plants and may even bloom the first year if planted in the spring.
– Native Wildflowers & Seeds from Ion Exchange

Be aware of your yard's microclimates

It is important to first be aware of your yard's microclimates. Make note of where gets the most/least amount of sun and for how many hours of the day. This will give you guidance in deciding what to harvest and/or grow. Whatever your plant preferences are, we strongly encourage including natives to your mix. Pollinators will thank you. Oh, and get a dog to ward off squirrels. – Public Land Store

Go vertical

I think the best way to create a beautiful backyard plant nursery is to keep vertical space in mind while planning a flower bed. Choosing plants and foliage in varying heights will create an eye-catching, layered space that draws the eye upwards. Trailing plants and tall grasses are my go-to for achieving this look. – Hosta La Vista

Plan it out

You really can “Confidently Grow Your Own Food!” even if you have a tiny yard and no time. It just takes a little planning, a small raised bed, a few seeds, and a good, nutritious growing medium (soil). In a 4'x4' raised bed just 6” deep, you can grow a whopping 16 different veggies, herbs and flowers with minimal care. With a little more planning, you can use each square foot 2-3 times per growing season. With the All-New Square Foot GardeningTM method, there is no digging, no rototilling, (virtually) no weeding . . . no kidding! – Square Foot Gardening 4 U

Starting your own garden is a fun and rewarding way to fill your time, and you really don't need acres of land to have a successful and delicious harvest. Step 1, figure out what to plant and how much space you'll need to create your dream garden. Some experts say to space plants 12 inches apart but we recommend 18 inches, the bushier your vegetable plant grows, the higher yield you'll receive! From germination rates to the hardening-off process, you will have loss, so it's good to over-prepare and plant extras!
– Pepper Joe

Grow natives

Grow Natives! Nothing grows better in your own yard than native plants. Choosing the right one is key. Know if you need shade or sun requirements. Taking a little extra time to research your plants needs, will make your backyard nursery the most spectacular one in town. – Native Wildflowers Nursery

Get creative

Save the cardboard paper towel and toilet paper rolls. Line a plastic tray with them, open the side facing up and fill them with dirt. You can start seeds in each roll. They're easy to transport and if they're the uncovered cardboard (plain brown), they're biodegradable. – Mountain Mama Adventures

Understand how to properly water

Watering plants can be tricky. When germinating seeds, keep the soil moist but not so wet water drips from the pot when you lift it up. Once your plants have germinated, always allow the surface of the soil to dry out to about 1/2 an inch down (or to your first knuckle) between waterings. This will help to prevent rotting off along with other pests and disease. Remember, overwatering can be just as harmful as underwatering.
– Zone 3 Vegetable Gardening

Keep it chemical-free!

Try going chemical-free! Gardening chemicals like insecticides and herbicides can harm your soil health, as well as the health of pollinators that support your garden. Use practices like hand-weeding, mulching, composting food scraps to enhance your soil, and much more. Protect the health of your family, your water, and your community by growing an organic garden! – Rodale Institute

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