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Grow Your Own Garden

GARDEN GURU Gardening expert Ian McKenna grows food for hungry families in Austin, Texas. COURTESY IAN MCKENNA

Gardens come in all shapes and sizes. Starting a new one from scratch might seem daunting. But with a little planning and a few tips, you’ll be growing in no time.

One of the most important things to remember when planning a garden is to grow what you love. This way, you’ll be sure to enjoy the process. You can grow herbs and vegetables. If you don’t like vegetables, you can grow fruits or flowers. If you’re allergic to flowers, try cacti and other succulents.

You can grow a garden to feed yourself, your family, your neighbors, and people struggling with food insecurity, which is an issue I care deeply about. There are so many different things you can grow and so many different reasons to grow. Find your passion.

Simple Steps

Once you decide what type of garden you’d like to start, you’ll need to plan a few things before getting to work. First, figure out where your garden will be. Find a location that is fairly flat and has good access to sunlight.

Maybe you live in an apartment and don’t have a yard. That’s not a problem! You can start a garden in containers or most repurposed plastic bottles. You can even grow a garden in old rain boots.

Next, pick the right soil. This is important for an efficient efficient PW-efficient PETER DAZELEY—GETTY IMAGES effective by the simplest means (adjective) Over the years, I've learned tips for efficient cleaning. garden. An expert at a gardening store can advise you on the best soil for your needs.

After you have the correct soil, choose your plants. Will you start with seeds or seedlings? Growing from seeds is often less expensive. And it’s more satisfying, because you get to watch the growth from seed to plant. But growing from seedlings, or young plants, is easier. There’s a better chance your plant will grow big enough to produce produce PW-PRODUCE JINGYING ZHAO—GETTY IMAGES to develop fruits or vegetables, as a plant does (verb) The tree in my backyard produces oranges. .

Get Planting

You’re finally ready to plant your garden. I suggest planting right before the start of the growing season. This is so the plants can adapt to the soil. You’ll see them start to produce sooner.

If you’re a new gardener, start small. You want to enjoy your garden and not get overwhelmed. Once you know how to plant a garden, you’ll be able to plant season after season and try to grow new things.

Soon your flowers will bloom or your plants will produce fruits and vegetables. Share flowers with neighbors to brighten their day, or bring some extra veggies to a family that’s going through a hard time. As I like to say, “Be a good human!”

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