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5 Must-Do Steps for Growing Your Very First Garden

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By Guest Blogger Carrie Spencer
Looking to give your green thumb a workout as the weather warms up? If you are new to gardening, you should know that preparation is key to success. It can feel a bit overwhelming, so if you’re not sure where to start, these essential steps from ProParts Direct can help you get started.
Ask Experts for Gardening Advice & Tips
Before you plant your first seeds, you may want to think about your reasons for gardening in the first place. If you just want a beautiful garden and don’t want to worry about all of the work, hiring a gardener may be your best bet to ensure you get started out on the right foot.
A professional gardener will be able to help you plan a garden that works for your yard and your area, and he/she can provide the level of care needed to maintain it. Even if you do not want to hire a full-time gardener, consulting with one can be a good way to get your first garden off to a healthy start.
Research Local Climates and Growing Zones
If you have never attempted to grow a garden before, you may want to start with simple plants that are easy to take care of in order to avoid added stress or expenses.
The first step in selecting plants is checking USDA recommendations to see which growing zone you are located in and when to begin planting. This is crucial, because planting too early or late can lead to dying plants or plants that do not produce flowers, veggies or fruits.
In addition to knowing your growing zone, you should also research what sort of plants will work best in your location. For example, Preston Trail Farms notes that most crop plants require good drainage. On the flip side, some plants love to keep their feet wet, so a little research will definitely go a long way toward your success.
Build a Fence for Your Backyard
If you haven’t already done so, now’s the perfect time to add a fence to your backyard. Not only will a fence help add value to your home, but it will also protect your garden from any four-legged critters who may wander into your backyard and help themselves to your plants. Fortunately, you can use websites like Angi to connect with top-rated fence builders near you who can help you build that fence quickly and efficiently — all you have to do is read reviews and select one you feel can get the job done correctly.
Buy Started Plants Instead of Starting With Seeds
Another helpful tip that can help novice gardeners succeed with their first planting is to go with more developed plants rather than attempting to grow plants from seeds. Growing seedlings can seem like a simple enough task, but you will need to start plants much earlier, and very young plants can end up wilting in the sun or even blowing away in strong winds. Connecting with a garden center or nursery for started plants can ease a lot of first-time gardening woes. Also, many stores offer return and/or exchange policies if your plants end up dying too quickly, so be sure to ask about these sort of plant guarantees before you check out.
Spend Some Serious Time Properly Preparing Soil
Some plants will thrive in just about any sort of spot you plant them while others require the right amount of sun, soil and water to even survive. If you plan on growing veggies or flowers in your new garden, know that most of these plants need quality soil in order to flourish. Before you begin planting your vegetables and flowers, you may need to dedicate some time to soil prep.
For a vegetable garden, Family Handyman points out that preparing your soil for maximum health and output can include tilling and double-digging in order to ensure proper drainage and aeration. Having the right mixture of soil can also improve your vegetable garden but some experts and experienced gardeners also rely on worms to improve their soil quality.
Growing a garden can be a perfect way to pass time, boost curb appeal, and even grow healthy food. So make sure your first garden gets off to a healthy start by applying some TLC and connecting with help as needed. Then all that will be left to do is to plant your garden, care for it and watch it grow.
Photo Credit: Pexels.

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