So you want to have a garden. Getting inspired to garden is the first step. Before you can begin to plan your garden, you need to have a vision. You may not have all the details hashed out yet…that’s OK. The first thing to do is get inspired: gather info, learn a little, and know what direction you wish to go!
Answer these questions as your are getting inspired to garden:
- Location: Where will your garden be? Make sure the area you choose gets 6 to 8 hours minimum of full sun for vegetables. If it’s a shady location, then you are limited to shade-loving plants.
- Layout: What kind of a garden will it be? In boxes? In rows? Will it be a raised bed?
- Methods and materials: How will you accomplish it? What do you need to make it a reality? Tools? Resources? Materials?
- Crops: What will you be growing? Vegetables? Herbs? Flowers? All of these?
I could thumb through my gardening magazines all day and keep finding new inspiration. As I begin to plan my garden, I start by gathering ideas. I make notes and sketches in my notebook as I go. Later I will tweak those ideas if they are feasible with the space and location I have for my garden. The best way to be inspired is by what others have done. My Green Thumb Pinterest board is another place where I gain and share inspiring garden ideas.
I am not an expert gardener, but I have come a long way by reading up on gardening. I recommend that you find some great books and learn from them as I did. Mainly, I have learned that you need to know how to care for your plants in these regards:
- Food and water: Water in the amounts that your plants need and want…not too much or too little. Fertilize them occasionally.
- Prepare your soil: I can’t stress the importance of this enough! Good Soil =Good Crop. Bad Soil=Bad Crop. This is where most of your hard work and preparation will be. If you’re not sure how to best prepare your soil, this article will be helpful!
- Place your plants properly: Location is important too. Give plants the space they need and the amount of sun needed to produce and be happy.
- Plan your timing. You need to know which plants to grow when. Do they like cool weather or warm weather? Plant seeds and transplants at the appropriate time.
Here are a few of my favorite gardening books that you may find helpful:
Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew is one of my very favorite gardening books! I’ve found it to be the single most helpful resource I have used. It’s much more “grass roots,” and I really like that about it.
Another favorite is the All New Square Foot Gardening book. This book further discusses a popular gardening trend called vertical gardening. It touches on the topic of square foot gardening with kids. An expanded section on pest control helps you learn to protect your produce too! Includes new full-color images and updated tips for choosing materials. This book is perfect for new gardeners and anyone who wants to give square foot gardening a try.
There’s even a Square foot Gardening with Kids book available! I don’t know about you, but I often choose books that are meant to teach children how to do projects or activities (gardening, knitting, sewing, drawing, etc.) because these books are usually easier to understand, shorter to read, and more entertaining! And besides all that, they usually contain much of the same basic information.
The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible is great for home food gardeners! If you enjoy (or want to try) growing vegetables and/or herbs, this book will help you do it successfully. This 10th Anniversary Edition includes more photographs, information about 15 additional vegetables that weren’t included in earlier editions, and more.
The Vegetable Gardener’s Container Bible is another great book for those who don’t have much yard space for gardening. This book will help you choose the right plants and the best containers as well as how to control pests without chemicals. If you’d like a guide book that will help you container garden, this is a great one!
Cookbooks Lead the Way!
For me, healthy cookbooks inspire. They teach me about what vegetables I want to grow. If you are more interested in flower arrangement or herbal medicine, however, you may want to look at information on those topics in order to decide what you’d like to grow in your garden. Whatever your interests in gardening are, grow those things you know you will use!
More Gardening Resources for Your Homeschool (and a Freebie)!
If you’re looking for some great Notebooking Pages to use with your children, you’ll find a great set on sale for $1.99 in our store!
And you’ll also find a FREE set of Garden Planning Pages for your children to use to plan their own little garden plots too!