How to Start a Backyard Garden

September 13, 2018

Living in your own custom home is an absolute dream. You may already know exactly how your perfect home will look, but you may not have thought about the backyard. Whether you’re planning to build a custom home soon or you’ve been living in your dream custom home for years, here’s how to start a backyard garden:

1. Take Stock of Your Backyard

It’s tempting to jump right in and start digging and planting right away. However, without planning, your garden isn’t likely to do well at all or at least as well as it could. So, take a step back and take a good look at your backyard. Where does it get full sun, partial sun, or mostly shade throughout the day? What is the landscape like right now? For example, do you have any natural hills or slopes to deal with or is your backyard mostly flat?

It’s also a good idea to figure out where all the mechanical stuff is underground. You likely won’t be digging deep enough to hit anything, but it’s always a good idea to know where important pipes and lines are located before you start planning anything or jumping into things to build in your backyard. This also gives you a chance to think about what you want to plant and where you can place a garden so that it doesn’t interfere with how you want to use the rest of your backyard.

2. Figure Out What Type of Garden You Want

Once you have an area or a couple of potential areas picked out for where you could have a garden, then you need to figure out what type of garden you want. You could go purely decorative with only flowers, more functional with an herb or vegetable garden, or a combination garden that is both decorative and functional.

Each type of garden has its own benefits and the one that is best for you just depends on what you want out of your backyard garden. Plus, a garden can help enhance your landscaping, is one of the farmhouse landscaping ideas, and can also be functional if you grow herbs, spices, vegetables, etc.

3. Determine the Plants

When you have narrowed down the type of garden you would like to have, then you can start determining the plants that will make up your garden of choice. You may have your personal preferences, but you’ll likely need to check these and compare them to the garden location you’ve chosen. You want to make sure whatever seeds you’re planting will be a good fit for the land you’ve chosen for your garden. If it’s going to get full sun, then make sure the seeds you have chosen prefer full sun in order to flourish.

Also, take a look at the season and whether plants are perennial or annual. Some plants are more likely to reach full bloom in the spring, summer, or fall than others. Perennial plants tend to return year after year once they have been planted until they reach maturity. Maturity for perennials will vary from plant to plant, but it tends to average three to five years. After they reach maturity, perennials will need to be re-planted in order to continue growing. On the other hand, annuals will bloom for the growing season and then they will die. If you want them to come back year after year, you will have to replant them each year.

4. Test the Soil

Before you start digging and planting, it’s a good idea to test your soil. This will let you know how fertile your soil is currently and will help you identify any nutrients that need to be added before planting to ensure your garden will flourish. If you want a garden, but don’t necessarily want to dig into your current backyard soil, you can always use raised beds and start off with pre-packaged soil already packed with nutrients.

5. Plant, Tend, and Track Results

Once you have placement, plant type, and soil fertility results, then it’s time to plant! Planting instructions may vary from plant to plant, so you’ll want to follow the instructions on the seed packet if you’re just starting out. After that, tend to your garden with adequate watering, monitoring, mulch, weed removal, and pest protection. Knowing how to prune your garden can be a big help when it comes to maintenance and care.

It’s also a good idea to dedicate a notebook or journal for tracking your results. Taking note of what seeds you planted, when and how you planted them, how you took care of them, and the results you got from the garden will help you determine personalized tricks for you to build a bigger and better garden year after year. Plus, it will help you avoid frustrating or costly mistakes as you will have kept track of lessons learned after each growing season.

Space for a garden is one of the backyard must-haves. With these tips, you’re bound to start off your backyard garden on the right foot! And, who knows? You may get a mood boost out of it as well. Starting a garden and adding some indoor plants tend to be helpful home updates to boost your mental health. Adding some greenery to your home, spending time outside, engaging in a relaxing hobby, and more can all help improve your mood.