Planting a spring garden with your family is a great way to connect and do something enjoyable. It’s also rewarding to eat what everyone has worked hard to grow!
If you’ve never started your own garden before, rest assured that it’s easier than you may think. With one quick glance online, you can find and purchase any type of garden that works for your space and household. Or, if you’re the crafty type, create your own containers using scrap wood and your imagination. If you’d like something more linear, your local hardware store can provide you with pre-cut wood and a few simple tools.
Garden Types and How to Make Them
This type of garden is especially easy to make and is great for keeping young children entertained. The first step is to choose your containers. Consider these tips:
- Start with a large container at least 15 inches deep and wide (large flower pots, barrels, baskets, etc.). Large containers hold more soil and lock moisture in longer.
- The container must drain well and have at least one hole in the bottom for water to run out of. If your container doesn’t have drainage holes, use a drill to make your own.
- Choose one vegetable or herb for each container. Don’t overcrowd the pots!
- Place your container in an appropriate area that receives about six to eight hours of sunlight a day. If you live in a warmer part of the country, you may need to elevate your container from the hot concrete. Try placing it on a small cart or wooden box.
The next step is to start planting!
- Buy potting mix that is designed to retain moisture well, along with quality plant starters or seed packets. Fill the base of the container with an inch or two of small rocks or pebbles to help drainage and prevent mold or mildew.
- Add soil to the container, leaving about two inches of space from the top. Water the soil and let it drain for a few hours before planting the seeds or starter plant.
- Plant seeds according to their package directions. For starter plants, dig a hole deep enough for the soil to reach the same level they were growing in their pot.
Now it’s time to water your plants!
- Maintain moisture levels on a regular basis. The soil should feel moist about one to two inches below the surface. Depending on the climate you live in, you may need to water your plants multiple times per week.
- Tip: water in the morning so your plants stay hydrated throughout the day.
Raised Garden Boxes
This type of garden is great if you want something larger. You can buy a pre-made garden box online or create your own by purchasing wood. This time of year, many stores have piles of wood laid out specifically for garden boxes with instructions included.
Once you’ve assembled your garden box, follow these steps:
- Place your garden box in an area that receives adequate sunlight.
- Place a thin layer of newspaper (black & white only) along the bottom to prevent weeds from growing. The newspaper will decompose.
- Cover with soil based on the size of your garden box.
- Plant, water and enjoy!
Bonus Gardening Tips
The best time to plant your garden is two to four weeks after the last evening frost. Research online to determine what plants are best for your climate. You can also talk to an associate at your local garden store for suggestions.
Here are some great spring garden plant suggestions:
- Broccoli or cauliflower
- Brussels sprouts
- Spinach or kale
- Melons (for summer harvest)
- Herbs: Basil, Oregano, Sage, Thyme, Cilantro
For tips on how to use your spring garden harvest, Click Here to read the full article from the Obesity Action Coalition’s Weight Matters Magazine.