Have you dreamed of tending a little garden of your own? So have we. And great news: it's easier than you think. Here are the basics on how to get started:
Stake a Spot
Live the Right Way
Love to garden, eat healthy, and stay fit? The Farm at River Pointe might be your next move. This amenity-filled community is in North Carolina's Cabarrus County. New homes there offer access to a fitness center, walking trails, a club house, and an outdoor pool. Nice.
Put your veggie patch in a place that receives six to eight hours of direct sunlight. You also want to pick a spot that's easy for you to get to, and near an accessible water source. The easier you make it on yourself, the more likely you'll give your garden the love it needs.
Great gardens really depend on quality soil. Things to know:
- Your garden soil should be well-aerated so roots have room to grow and water can drain properly. Just dig down 10 to 12 inches and turn the soil over. You can do this with a spade or a garden fork.
- The soil should be free of stones and sand, and rich in organic matter. Add compost to your soil to provide lots of juicy nutrients to plants.
- Most plants are happiest in soil that is just slightly acidic. Buy a simple test kit at your local garden store so you can find out the pH level of the soil, and make adjustments if necessary.
Organic gardening simply means you're growing plants without using synthetics or chemicals to control bugs or weeds. Food for thought: organic gardening helps you save money, it's better for your health, and it's better for the environment.
What Should You Plant?
Plant what you love to eat! We like growing stuff we can't always get at the store, like hot peppers or unusual herbs. But if you're new at this and want to play it safe, start with vegetables that are easy to grow, like green beans, lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, and basil.
Seeds or Seedlings?
If you're a beginner, stop by the nursery, buy some seedlings, and pop them in the ground. But if you want to plant seeds, remember to read the package to see if you can “direct sow.” Depending on what you choose, you might need to grow your plants indoors first (growing seedlings can take weeks—something to consider if you're hot to get started).
Other Stuff to Know
Rabbits, squirrels, and other cute creatures want to love your garden, too. You might have to protect your little crop with wire fencing. And lastly, make sure you have the right garden tools to get you started. Check out our Must-Have Garden Tools article to figure out what you need. More questions? We're obsessed with Gardeners.com—it's loaded with information.
Ryan Homes Tip: While you toil in the soil, wear a sun hat with a wide brim to protect your skin.