An edible garden is where you can plant vegetables, herbs, and some other perennial edible plants. It’s a great addition to your house and a healthy hobby for you to spend the time. However, it's not the same as a regular garden. It requires attention and dedication if you want it to succeed.
It certainly isn't that easy to start an edible garden, especially if you have no previous experience taking care of a regular one, but with some help, it can be. Read below twelve tips to help you kickstart your own!
Get to know your garden
If you’re interested in making your garden an edible one, get familiar with it. First of all, discover the predominant type of soil in your terrain. With that in mind, you can think better about what you’re doing next and what kinds of plants you should focus on.
There are some kinds of soil where planting can be harder, in others it is easier, and you won't know which is yours until you test the soil. If your area is not prosperous for planting, don't give up on the idea just yet: there are plenty of resources today that you can use to make the soil fertile and easier for you.
Prepare the soil
Preparing the soil of your future edible garden is an important step, in order to have a good and healthy base for planting. You can start removing old plants and winter mulch, then add compost and organic fertilizer.
And if the soil in your area doesn’t give you any chance for planting, you still have options like beds and containers to think about. In that case, you should start by preparing the base of the container, filling it up with fertile soil and other substances to help with bed planting.
Have a good perception of your space
In the beginning, edible plants are usually small and profitable, but as they grow they occasionally need more space and that’s when a good perception kicks in. Knowing your terrain allows you to make good use of it, like knowing the best area for sunlight or wind protection. You also have to think about future expansion and additions.
If you prefer to keep it small, you can opt to grow small edible herbs like mint, microgreens, and basil. They don’t need much space, which can be favorable for you in this case.
Have a schedule
Creating a schedule for your garden provides an active organization of the basic tasks every plant needs. Organize time for watering your plants once or twice a week, fertilizing once, and if needed, twice in early spring, and some other tasks that need a weekly, monthly, or annual routine.
Besides that, having a schedule for each season is effective as well. Each period has its strength related to planting that you should use in your favor. For example, winter is better for apples, grapes, carrots, and some other vegetables and fruits. With that in mind, it’s recommended to plant these foods during this cold period if you want them to grow fast and healthy.
Organize your garden space
Creating an edible garden routine may not be enough, you may need a physical organization system to make it efficient. Separating some species of perennial vegetables from others and getting similar kinds close to each other creates a good system for you to know where each vegetable is without too much effort.
For example, a well-known method used by several gardeners is the square-foot garden, which divides the crops using a grid. This system has the advantage of cultivating more in less space.
Discover what’s the best plant for your garden
The type of soil in a garden, either edible or not, is something that influences a lot the future of your plants. There are kinds of vegetables and fruits that don’t get well with some kinds of soil but do with others.
That’s why you need to find out what type of soil your terrain has and do research to learn which plants are your best and easiest bets. This has a significant weight on your garden’s growth and future since it will determine the success or failure of your efforts.
However, if you don't know the type of soil you're dealing with, the best way to start a garden is to go for native plants. These will usually grow without much effort and care, which is perfect for beginners.
Also, don't forget to pay attention to your climate. Some plants thrive in desert areas, while others can only grow in tropical climates. If you don't have experience taking care of special plants, stick to the easy ones.
Keep critters away
It’s not news that critters are a common enemy to the plants and their gardeners. They munch on your vegetables, mow the plants, damage the garden structure, and in some cases, they can cause serious harm to the point of spoiling the growth of your plants.
There are several ways and tips for avoiding critters around your edible garden, like installing a fence, placing pepper plants around the perimeter, or even making use of repellents, and you may use the best and most favorable ones for your plants.
In more severe cases where no method to keep critters away from your garden works, you can try keeping your garden in an enclosed space. There are plenty of indoor edible plants you can grow in your house or apartment, you just need to be sure they get enough sunlight, and that your pets won't harm them.
Keep some garden tools close
If you plan on starting your home garden soon, it’s recommended to always keep your garden tools close. This is not a must, since sometimes you can do the same tasks they do with your bare hands or other tools not specific for garden caring, but they can be really useful when you need them.
The lack of tools nearby or having to always search around the house for them can end up discouraging you from taking care of your garden, especially if you're new.
Knowing how to water your plants the right way isn’t just a tip for taking care of your edible garden, but a piece of information you should know if you have any type of garden or lawn and want them to grow healthy.
The ideal frequency of watering your plants should be around once or twice a week. That’s enough for not drying or swamping most common plants.
Seeds or Seedlings
When planning to start a garden, you might have to make a choice about either using seeds or seedlings for your planting. Each one has its pros and cons you should know before choosing. For example, seeds are cheaper and offer a wider market for different variations of edible plants, while the seedlings grow faster and are more resistant to pests.
Get rid of the weeds
This is another basic task for taking care of your garden that you should pay attention to. The weeds can be a serious problem in your garden, since they basically compete with other plants for sunlight, nutrients, and water, starving them in the end. So be aware if you ever see any weeds around your plants or yard.
And as the last tip for a beginner gardener, be patient. A good garden needs dedication and attention, and its growth is slow, it needs time. It usually takes weeks or months until you can see some progress or get the results.
Therefore, before starting your edible garden, you should keep in mind almost everything in gardening work needs some patience so that it works out. If you’re anxious, it may be difficult waiting but the results are totally worth it.
The idea of starting an edible garden is great to add a new hobby to your life. It’s not difficult to deal with gardening if you actually like it. This way it can be a relaxing thing to do on a lazy afternoon.
A local landscaper can help you decide which plants to go for and actually set up your garden space. Contact a professional and request a free quote!