Beginners Guide to Starting Your Own Garden

If you’ve built and/or purchased a new home, chances are you’ve thought about creating a garden. You can get into gardening any time of the year. After all, a great garden starts with an idea. Your gardening ideas may be something home builders in Calgary never thought of when designing the home of your dreams.

Here’s a useful step-by-step approach if you’re starting a garden from scratch in, for example, the Saddlestone community.

  1. Pick the Perfect Spot

First, observe your space and how the sun shines on it during the day. There can be some shade, but consider that most flowers and vegetables need at least six hours of sun per day. Also, place your garden where you are most likely to pay attention to it, such as near your back door or outside a window.

  1. Prepare the Ground/Soil

Remove the sod covering the future planting area, cover it with newspaper, and spread a layer of compost consisting of potting soil and topsoil. The compost and paper will decompose in about four months, but you can improve the soil by adding decayed leaves and dry grass clippings. Manure works as well.

  1. Choose What to Grow

Pick fruits and vegetables your family will eat at the dinner table. Also, select plants that best suit the climate you live in; the advice of gardeners in your area can be useful here. You can use USDA Hardness Zones to plan your garden, which divides all of North America into 11 zones, accounting for sub-zones and microclimates that best suit certain plants.

  1. Invest in Tools

Gardening can seem like a chore without the right tools. You should have a garden hoe, scuffle hoe, dirt rake, leaf rake, D-handle shovel, and even small ergonomic hand tools such as a cultivator and trowel. Cheaper, plastic tools are less effective. Make sure your tools are properly sized, so you get the most out of them and there’s no increased risk of injury.

woman working on garden bed

  1. Test the Soil

It helps to know the pH of the soil. Neutral, or a pH of 7, is usually best. A test kit can determine if it’s too acidic or alkaline. The soil type affects the quality of your garden as well, whether it is sand, clay, silt, or a mix. Testing can help determine if the soil is at risk of contamination or has the basic nutrients to support plants you want to grow.

  1. Start Slow

No farm was every created overnight and rushing your garden won’t produce quality results. If it takes time to start your garden, that’s fine. Start with a small patch the first season and keep adding on to that.

  1. Use Your Space Efficiently

Once you pick a location with sunlight, near a water source, and that’s protected from wind and frost, think about efficiency. Raised beds are better than traditional row planting, and vertical supports allow you to plant more crops than growing outward. Try crop rotation, as well, to avoid depleting soil nutrients.

Are you ready to start a garden? Allow our agents to show you homes in Airdrie or houses for sale in NW Calgary. Our new condo  town home in Calgary are prepared to help you move into the home of your dreams, so call us today at 403-265-8079 or contact us online.