If you’re like some, having a green thumb does not come naturally. We created an easy step by step guide to gardening that anyone can follow! Get ready to enjoy the best tasting fruits, veggies, and herbs. This is also a fun activity to do while social distancing. 

1.)  DECIDE WHAT TO GROW-Don’t grow something you won’t eat or enjoy. Focus on the veggies and fruits that you enjoy regularly and will use for cooking. It is also important to consider where you live and the climate appropriate for certain fruits and vegetables. If you only have the space for a small garden, try to not chose a crop that grows to a large size (example: pumpkin). 

2.) PICK A LOCATION-Most fruits and vegetables prefer full/direct sunlight (a minimum of five hours) every day. If you want to grow herbs, green vegetables or root vegetables, they will thrive in partial shade. Be sure to pick an area that will be easy for you to access, water, and care for your plants. Also consider wildlife, it may be best to put a small fence around your garden, little bunnies love to visit gardens.

3.) TEST SOIL-Before you can start building your garden, it is important to know about the soil. The nutrients in the soil will help your fruits and vegetables prosper, but if you have a very high acidic soil this can do the opposite. Most garden crops prefer a soil with a pH around 7. There are  home tests and labs that will test soil samples. 

4.) PLAN GARDEN BEDS-After you pick where you will plant your garden, decide on how big your garden will be. It is easier to plant a garden in a bed. Beds should be 3 to 4 feet across and narrow enough that you can reach the center from either side. The bed should be around 10 feet long or less depending on the space you have available. Remember to start small and give each plant enough space to grow. 

5.) TOOLS-You will need a few tools to use while working in your garden. Here are a few tools that will make gardening easier: garden hoe, dirt rake, garden shovel, scuffle hoe, etc. If you can, avoid plastic tools, metal tools will last longer and make your job easier. 

6.) BUILD SOIL-Most plants prefer fertile soil with organic matter. If you are unable to create your own soil from what is in your yard, you can easily pick up a big bag of soil from your local nursery or plant section at the market. Your soil is the most important part of your garden. Healthy soil means healthy plants.  

7.) PLANT AND NURTURE-It’s time to plant your seeds or transplant seedlings into your garden. Plant your seeds about 3 inches deep into the soil. If you are moving seedlings that were growing in a pot, plant the seedlings the same depth as the pot they were growing in. Keep an eye out for weeds, and water your plants about one inch of water per week. 

8.) HARVEST-When your fruits and vegetables are mature, it is time to harvest them. Make sure that they are ripe before picking them. The best way to tell if they are ripe is by color or by tasting them. Enjoy!

Happy planting!