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Gardening: Tried and True Tips for a Bountiful Garden

Updated on March 30, 2012
A garden early in the season. It shows both the newspaper/straw and the black plastic planting methods.
A garden early in the season. It shows both the newspaper/straw and the black plastic planting methods.

Growing a garden is a learning process even for those who have grown one for years. There are many things to consider: what to grow, the amount of space needed, whether to fertilize or not, the time you can make for gardening. Don't let any of those stop you from trying. You'll get it all figured out. It doesn't have to be perfect.

Choosing the spot to put your garden is a good starting point. Knowing how much space you can dedicate to your garden will help you determine how much you can grow. Here is one thing to consider: if you don't own a rototiller, rent one for a few hours to work your garden area. It definitely saves on up front costs, especially if you are new to gardening. Some may find this suits them better than buying and maintaining one. If you don't want to till, lay strips of plastic down and dig a hole for each plant. Make sure the hole is good sized as to not compact the roots. Of course this takes some work, but you can dig two or three dozen holes for plants quicker than you realize.

Should you fertilize? That's entirely up the grower. Here are some things I have done to help boost my plants. The first is the use of potting soil. One hand trowel full in each hole dug for the plants gives them a boost from the get go. The other is for bell peppers. Along with the potting soil, put one kitchen stick match in each hole. It gives them a dose of phosphorus. I've done this for years and my bell peppers flourish. One more trick is the use of manure. Whether it is cow, goat ,or horse manure, working some in to your soil either sure does wonders for your plants.

Weeding your garden is not the most enjoyable chore.Try laying newspaper down around your plants and cover with straw. Your garden will be weed free for a long time. This can all be turned in with your soil for next year's garden. Another way to avoid weeding is to lay out black plastic sheeting. Mark and cut the openings for each plant, dig a hole, and plant your plants. Both of these methods helps to retain moisture for the plants as well.

When it comes to the amount of time needed for gardening, it really is up to the individual. You want to enjoy the fruits of your labor, not feel overburdened by it. If your time is limited, plant just two or four of each plant that you like. You might want to start out with just a few containers. Either way, you can consume your produce without wasting any and without having to preserve any of it.

I hope these tips help you out in your gardening ventures. Here's a few more thoughts for you. Plant something new to you each season and don't over- think your garden. Just do it and enjoy it!


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