Nicol Sasse April 6, 2020 Garden
Many plants, such as lettuce and sunflowers, are easy to grow from seed directly in the garden. Be sure to read the seed packet for information about planting time, depth, and spacing. If you’re an adventurous beginner, get a head start on the growing season by sowing seeds indoors a few weeks before the last frost date. There are containers or flats designed especially for seedlings and seed-starting soil mixes available at garden centers. Follow seed-packet instructions and place the containers on a sunny windowsill or under grow lights if you don’t have window space. Be sure to keep the seeds and seedlings moist but not wet, or they may rot.
It often means getting started earlier in the season, depending on crops’ planting times. For example, eggplant and peppers need to be started about eight weeks before your last frost. Like many other seeds, they need to be started indoors where you can control growing conditions. Starting indoors requires sufficient amounts of adequately lit space. According to Burpee, if you can’t expose your seeds to 6 to 10 hours of sunlight, you need to use fluorescent or full-spectrum lights, which generally have to be on for 12 to 16 hours per day.
What you need depends on what you grow, but for many gardeners the list of “needs” is limited to gloves, a few basic and inexpensive hand tools, such as a hand trowel, hoe, and round point shovel, and maybe a few pieces of pricey equipment, such as a tiller and wheelbarrow.
According to the University of Georgia Extension, during the peak of the summer, a 10-by-20-foot garden requires about 200 gallons of water per week, or more for a raised-bed garden. Watering a garden can strain well-users’ supply and become a major cost for municipal water users. Learn to conserve water and find alternative sources.
A Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Vegetable Garden
If you don’t have the right space for a garden bed, try container gardening. Growing plants in decorative pots, hanging baskets, and window boxes allows you to exercise your green thumb in small spaces. Just as with traditional gardens, though, keeping a container gardening looking its best requires good drainage, rich soil, and regular maintenance.
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