Gardening can be a great joy. Being able to garden at home is even more enjoyable!!!
A home garden doesn’t require a huge plot of land. Containers on a patio will grow veggies and herbs just as well as a space in the yard. I have gardened most of my life both at home and in more recent years in a community garden. No mater when and where you start your garden you will always have to prepare the soil for planting. This year I got a late start due to a lot of rain in May and early June.
As my home garden is pretty small – approximately 3 feet by 12 feet – I tend to use a digging fork to cultivate the soil along with a hoe and Garden Weasel which is great to break soil down into smaller pieces and remove existing weeds. If your garden area is much larger you may want to consider the use of a tiller.
I prefer organic fertilizers over the heavy chemical based stuff. I use a combination of egg shells – which I save all year long – and organic fertilizer. My fertilizer of choice is Chickity Doo Doo which I have found locally from time to time at Home Depot and Lowes. Other options for soil enrichment include nutrient rich compost and worm castings also known as Baitcast.
Starting an In Ground Garden – Step-by-Step
- Pull any existing weeds by hand that you can from the entire area you plan to use.
- Using a digging fork dig up the entire area – turn the soil over – at least 6 inches below the top soil.
- Use a hoe or Garden Weasel to break the soil up into smaller pieces – the smaller the better for planting.
- Flatten out the entire area making sure everything is level.
- Now you are ready for your plants. Be sure to read the instructions for each item you are planting to determine how tall it will grow and how far it needs to be from other plants.
- Using a hoe or a handheld towel dig holes for each of your plants.
- Add the recommended amount of organic fertilizer to each hole.
- Place each plant in a hole and fill the remaining space with soil.
- Pat the soil to remove any air pockets that may exist and to add support to the plant. If necessary pull additional soil up around the bottom of the plant to ensure the entire root system is covered.
- Grab a small amount of egg shells and crush and sprinkle around each plant.
- Water your new garden throughly to the point of runoff to ensure the roots of your plants receive enough water to thrive.
Now that your garden is planted you will need to weed and water regularly to ensure a bountiful harvest.
Planting a container garden requires the same type soil cultivation, fertilizer and planting in each container you are using. You will most likely encounter far fewer weeds than an in-ground garden but will need to water more frequently as containers tend to dry out much faster.
NOTE: Tomato Plants are vines that require staking or tomato towers to ensure that the plants grow upright and bare as much as possible.