If Starting a Garden in your Backyard Homestead is something you have been wanting to do, then you may be wondering how to go about doing it. While some people may tell you it’s easy to do, they are only partly right. This article will tell you what we did decided we wanted to have our own vegetable garden and the steps we took before we actually planted anything in it.

Planning is essential when you want to have a successful garden. You need to know the location, but also essential to a successful garden is knowing your soil’s nutrition, where to locate the plants in your garden for optimal growth, and how to protect it from wildlife.

A photo of a man on a tractor, tilling the ground in preparation to starting a garden

Committing to gardening

For years we did not have a garden. Mainly because Grumpy and I both worked full time and was away from home almost 12 hours workday. Grumpy would work even longer hours than me, and, when I had free time, I was always busy working on my other website, Grumpy’s Honeybunch.

I left my full time job in July of 2018 to work full time on Grumpy’s Honeybunch and when I did that, I realized I would have time to do other things I never felt I had time for. Having our own garden being number one of those things!

Tilling the compost into the garden

Questions you may have when starting a garden

When should you start a garden?

When you should start your garden will depend on what zone you are in. You can use the USDA’s Hardiness Zone Finder to discover what zone you are in. You can go from there to decide when it is safe to plant your garden.

What are the easiest vegetables to grow?

Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Squash (Zucchini and Crookneck Squash), Green Beans, Spinach, Radishes, Carrots, and Lettuce are all vegetables that grow and flourish with just a little sun and water.

What seeds should you start indoors?

Broccoli, Cauliflower, Kale, Lettuce, Onion, Peppers, and Tomatoes transplant well and can be started indoors.

What seeds should not be started indoors?

Beans, Beets, Carrots, and Corn should be planted in the ground after Spring’s last frost. These plants can be disturbed when transplanting, causing hindered growth.

5 Steps to take before starting your garden

Before you run out and buy plants and seeds for your garden, you should form a plan using the steps below.

  1. Decide what you want to grow in your garden.
    The first thing you will want to do is decide what you want to plant in your garden. When you are starting your first garden, you should not make it too big. Especially if you never had one before. Start small and perfect it. Then you can go bigger.
  2. Do your research to find out what type of light your plants need.
    Different plants have different needs. All plants will need sunshine. Some will need more than others. You need to know what type of light your plants will need before you can decide where to put your garden.
  3. Decide where your garden to put your garden and break the ground.
    You will want to find a location that has a good amount of sunshine. Most plants and vegetables need about 6 hours of sunshine.
  4. Buy a soil test kit and test your soil.
    Once you have your garden spot picked out, you will need to know things such as your soil’s Ph, Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium levels. You can perform your own tests right at home using a simple soil test kit.
  5. Work your compost into your garden.
    Once you know what your garden needs for nutrients, you will sprinkle your garden with the correct amounts of fertilizer and then work it into your soil.

Fertilizing your soil with compost

There are different ways to fertilize your soil. We chose to buy a manure compost for our initial fertilizing of the soil, and we bought one based on the nutrients our garden would need. Your test results from your soil kit will give you the information you need to know to decide which fertilizer is best for you.

After your initial fertilization, you should let your garden sit undisturbed for a few days. Hopefully you will have rain that will help to dampen the soil and aid in the nutrients soaking into the ground. You will want to fertilize it again throughout the season.

You may need

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I subscribe to and highly recommend subscribing to Mother Earth News magazine. It is full of great information you will find helpful when starting a garden as well as maintaining and harvesting.

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