It’s time for a garden makeover at Mia’s Little Farm in Nashville, TN. Mia has big plans for her backyard garden this year, and is making some pretty big changes. From adding more perennials to expanding certain areas, her backyard will look like a brand new garden by the time she is finished!
Here are a few things she will be adding:
- Taking out a few raised beds to put in more perennials
- Planting a fig tree
- Adding a bigger and better herb garden
- Expanding her raspberry patch
- Adding a strawberry bed
Before she can get started on her garden makeover, the first step is to always clean up the existing space!
Are you thinking about redoing your garden or starting from scratch? Here are a few tips that can help you get started!
Getting Started On A New Garden:
1. Start a compost pile. Every successful garden starts with good, healthy soil teeming with micronutrients. And every successful garden requires a regular schedule of amending the soil to keep it alive and thriving. Compost is a key, and you can either buy it or make it. Because making it is literally free, it’s a great hack for those with tight budgets. Kitchen scraps, garden clippings, and manure all work together to create valuable compost to keep your soil going.
2. Sow seeds. You can spend $2.00 – $4.00 for each transplant, or you can spend a few bucks on a packet of seeds that will grow a bunch of transplants. You do the math! And it’s pretty easy, too.
3. Don’t bag it. Many people bag up their fallen leaves or grass clippings, but there’s really no need. Let the grass clippings fall where they drop, amending your lawn’s soil and leading to a deeper grass root structure — leaving you with more time to devote to your new garden. And those leaves? Toss ‘em in your new compost pile.
4. Know your zone. If you don’t know your USDA Hardiness Zone, you won’t know what to plant when, leading to unsuccessful gardens, dead plants, and a colossal waste of time and money. Do your research ahead of time by looking up your zone here: http://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/
5. Use native plants. Using plants that are not native or adapted to your area’s growing conditions usually ends in a gardening disaster with wasted time, money, and energy. Think of trying to grow a drought tolerant agave in the moist soils of the Pacific Northwest or acid-loving hydrangeas in central Texas’ alkaline soil — it typically leads to massive disappointment. Know what plants are recommended for your area by contacting your county’s extension office; they often have publications with native plant lists and descriptions.
Mia Cover is an avid home gardener and beekeeper, and runs a garden club at an inner-city high school. She lives with her husband and kids on a tiny urban farm in Nashville, TN.