With warmer weather here, you may be looking at some of that unused space in your yard and you’re wondering if you have what it takes to start a garden…and typically the answer is yes! Having a garden, whether it’s flowers, vegetables, or a combination of both can be very rewarding by providing a great sense of pride and accomplishment. The next question is where to start, and the good news is that RIHI is here to help.

Whether you’re thinking about buttercups and crocus, or tomatoes and summer squash, we recommend you start smaller and plant something you’ll enjoy through the Spring, Summer, and Fall.

Here are some helpful tips to get you started:

  1. Make a List of What Sounds Good

If you decide on vegetables, think about what you like to eat (for me it’s fresh tomatoes and basil to make that fresh Caprese Salad on a warm summer night) and just tastes that much better fresh. With flowers think about colors and what would give you blooms from Spring to early Autumn.

  1. Make a Seasonal Plan

Once you decide what you’d like to grow, think about when the combination of plants (vegetables and flowers) will be at their peak flowering or producing and then create a schedule

  1. Evaluate Exposure to Sunlight

If you decide to plant vegetables, then you’ll need and area in your yard that receives approximately eight hours of sun every day. On the other hand, flowering plants and other decorative greenery will have different requirements and can vary greatly from plant to plant.

  1. Decide Where to Plant

If you decide on vegetables, typically something around a square yard is a great place to start you garden journey. For flowers and other plants, you’ll just need to decide where to dig the beds that give you the optimal way to enjoy all your work.

  1. Understand Your Soil

Most dirt and sandy soil can be enriched with compost to create the most nutrient rich soil for your plants. But it’s important to know how much mulch and other organic materials to add to your soil that is appropriate for the type of plants you have chosen. Consult your local gardening center who will be a big hope.

  1. Think About a Fence

If you are planning to plant vegetables (and for some flowering plants) they can be very attractive to the local wildlife who also appreciate fresh food from the garden. Just make the decision part of the planning process and if you have any questions ask an expert at your local gardening center.

  1. Get the Basic Tools

Here are some essential garden tools to pick up before you begin your work: watering can, hand shovel and rake, spade, hoe, soaking hose, and hand cart for hauling plants, soil, mulch, etc…

And like anything else in life, gardening will give back as much as much as you put it to it. So, with a little planning, helpful advice from an expert, and sweat equity, you will have an amazing place to spend time during the warmer months, and enjoy some fresh, delicious fruits of you labor.

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