Green Gardening Tips: Establishing your Garden
Green Tips | April 29, 2020
According to the National Gardening Association, more than one-third of American households grow their own food. Gardening is a rewarding hobby that provides you with fresh food and eases the burden on your wallet! Give those seedlings a new home with our tips for establishing a garden inside and outside of your home:
Recommended Plants to Grow
- Herbs are a healthy, easy-to-grow option when starting out. Popular choices like rosemary, basil, and lemon thyme are great additions to your dishes.
- Microgreens are great for indoor gardening, as they’re small and just as nutritious as their larger counterparts. Some plants that can be grown as microgreens include lettuce, spinach, watercress, and cabbage.
Make sure you have larger containers on hand and a sufficient amount of potting soil for establishing your garden. Check out our Green Tips for starting a garden for more tips on materials for container gardening.
Moving Seedlings to Larger Containers
If your seedling container is not large enough to support a growing plant, make sure to move your seedling to a larger container. Only once leaves appear and the seedling has grown to be twice as tall as the height of its starter container, should it be repotted. Follow these tips for easy transplant:
- Water the plant you will be moving several hours before repotting. Moist soil will hold together better than dry soil.
- Have the new pot ready with fresh soil. Create a dip in the soil where the seedling will be placed.
- Remove the seedlings from its container. Turn the seedling and its original container on the side to help ease out the seedling. Grab by the stem and wiggle the plant out carefully. Be gentle!
- Place your seedling in the new pot of soil at the same depth it was growing in its original container (do not bury the stem).
- Water your plant!
Choosing a Location
Most fruits and vegetables require direct sunlight, although some greens, herbs, and root vegetables will grow in partial shade. Consider how much light your plants need before determining your garden’s location. A simple internet search will have information about light requirements (most seed packets also have this information).
Plan your Garden Beds
Once you’ve chosen a gardening area, determine the type and size of your garden beds.
- Raised beds are a great choice to reduce pest invasion and keep pathway weeds out. A great material for raised beds is untreated cedar wood due to its rot resistance. However, garden beds can be built using stone or concrete. Check your local gardening store for more options and information.
- The size of your garden will be determined by the amount of seedlings you want to plant and the spacing requirements for the plants. Keep in mind that overcrowding will make it harder for plants to survive, as they compete for nutrients, sunlight, and water. To maximize growing space, place plants in rows.
Similar to transplanting seedlings for an indoor garden, do not move seedlings outside until they’ve grown at least twice the height of their starter container.
- A week before moving seedlings outdoors, reduce the amount of watering to condition the plant to their new home. When it’s time to move seedlings outdoors, keep them in their starter container to help them adjust to their new climate and weather conditions.
To physically move seedlings from their original container to a gardening bed, follow the steps for transplanting above.
Congratulations! You have established your garden! Stay tuned for the next Green Gardening Tips in our series, which will focus on planting specialty gardens.
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