As gardening is the world's most popular hobby, it's fairly common for people to wonder how to start a backyard garden. There are many benefits to having a backyard garden. Gardening provides exercise, increases property value, and can provide you and your family with food. Planting the proper trees in a backyard garden can provide shade that can help lower your electric bill in the summer while allowing sunlight through in the winter. Flowers and ornamental shrubs can provide a peaceful retreat from the stresses of everyday life. In order to start a backyard garden, there are several steps that must be taken.
- Choose a spot for your backyard garden. If you are going to be growing vegetables, you will need a spot with at least 6 hours of sun a day. Many flowers and flowering shrubs require full sun as well, while some can grow in shade. The location of trees is important, as the roots can make it difficult to dig, and will interfere with the growth of plants by robbing them of available nutrients.
- Choose the size of your garden. The size of your backyard will determine how large your garden will be. What kind of plants you want to grow will be a determining factor as well. You may be able to get more space by growing some plants vertically, so consider all possibilities.
- Prepare the garden bed. Digging the bed can be done manually or with a tiller or other machinery, depending on the size and location of the backyard garden. The soil should be dug to a depth of 18 inches, and well rotted manure or compost should be mixed into the soil in a 1:1 ratio. After the soil is amended, smooth the surface with a garden rake.
- Lay out the plantings. Deciding where to plant is a very important step in growing a backyard garden. Certain vegetables and ornamentals may not grow well together, so be sure to research your layout beforehand. You must know how large plants will get and provide for proper spacing for optimal growth.
- Plant and water well. Plant your seeds or plants in their predetermined locations and water the garden well. Water your backyard garden every other day until seeds sprout or for the time duration of two weeks. Afterwards, water twice a week for two weeks, once a week for two weeks, and then once a week for every week you do not get one inch of rainfall.
- Fertillize your backyard garden. The manure or compost worked into the soil will fertilize growing plants for a couple of weeks. After that, you will need to know how to fertilize your particular plants. Using the proper fertilizer at the proper rates in the proper intervals is essential to making your garden all it can be. Over- or under-fertilizing is a major cause of plant death, so be sure to do your research and do it right.