This post was kindly written by the wonderful Emma Croft from Get Gardening!
Have you always wanted to grow your own garden — and provide your own food — but you don’t know where to begin? Look no further: SHARE:Frome shares your definitive guide and starting point for creating your own green space to cultivate the earth, along with tools that you can borrow!
There are several things you need to determine before any seeds go in the ground (or, really, before you purchase any materials).
- Where will you put your garden? The best location experiences at least six hours of daily sunlight and has good drainage in your yard.
- Hire a property surveyor to make sure your garden isn’t in your neighbor’s yard.
- Are you going to have a raised bed or do you have the space to put a garden in your yard? You’ll need a large garden to feed a family year-round.
- What are you planting? Where you live can be a determining factor in what you can grow.
- Strategize! Based on the answer to the second bullet above, you should draw out a map of the garden on either grid paper or specialized software. Pay attention to how far apart the seeds need to be placed.
Ensuring you have the best and most appropriate soil for the vegetables you’re growing is a critical part of getting started.
- First, determine the soil type for where you live. That will determine what (if anything) you need to add to it for optimal gardening efficiency.
- If you have a raised bed, use a combination of compost, topsoil, decomposed leaves, and other nutrient-dense materials like worm casings.
- Mulch the soil and make sure you don’t step on the garden (as this compacts the soil and makes it harder for water and air to reach the roots, even if you’re not stepping directly on the plants).
- No matter what, loam is the best kind of soil for your vegetables. It guarantees drainage but also holds on to nutrients, including humus.
Make sure you incorporate a plan of how you’ll get water to your new plant babies. Especially in the first few weeks, how often they’re getting water is critical to their health.
- It can be simple to build your own irrigation system using PVC parts and your regular tools.
- A system that keeps the roots well-watered is your best bet.
- You can also just get an old-fashioned watering can — they’ll do the trick!
Useful tools to borrow
Don’t have the right tools for getting your garden going? We at SHARE:Frome have a variety of useful items to get you started!
- Prepare your beds with our Rakes, Tiller, Edgers and Hoes.
- Get your bulbs in the ground efficiently with our Bulb Planter.
- Protect your knees while working with our comfortable Kneeler with handles, as well as our Knee Pads.
- Need some extra tools for gardening with friends and family? We have Trowels, Forks, Hand Forks and Shovels.
- Make some eco-friendly, recycled plants pots with our Plant Pot Maker!
- Keep you trees and plants pruned with our Shears, Loppers and Secateurs.
- Move heavy soil with our handy Garden Cart or Wheelbarrow.
- Get rid of large rocks in your soil with our Garden Sieve.
- Make some extra mulching material using our Shredders.
- Keep your plants watered with our Garden Hoses and Watering Can.
- Feed and fertilise your plants using our Plant Sprayer.
- Reap the rewards of your labour with our Fruit Picker!
Good luck with your new (yummy) project! With a little love and a lot of elbow grease, you can be harvesting your own crops soon!
Want to know more? Head to the Get Gardening website for loads more informations and tips on mastering your garden!
Clare is the new manager at SHARE:Frome. She studied a photography degree and is now looking into ways that we can reduce our impact on the environment as a community. She loves cooking vegan food, travelling, singing/songwriting and being outdoors.