Planting a garden and watching it grow is a popular “bucket list” item that happened to make it onto my “checklist of things to do before I turn 30.” In response to my impulsive and daring whim, my husband built me a garden of my very own as a surprise for my 30th birthday. I woke up that morning to a neatly built little garden, filled with plants including chocolate mint, banana peppers, cactus tomatoes, asparagus, avocado and cayenne peppers, tucked into containers. I also received a collection of seeds — onions, zucchini, sunflowers and gladiolas””to get myself started planting and getting seeds to sprout.
I was instantly stressed that this test of my “domestic diva” abilities would fail miserably when I couldn’t even keep a mini cactus alive. But I have found gardening to be easier and more enjoyable than I ever imagined. If you’re a beginner gardener or think gardening might be a fun hobby for you, here are some simple steps to get started:
What You’ll Need
Small and large pots or Mason jars
How to Get Started
— Find a place in your house or outside in your yard where there’s a decent amount of sunlight and arrange your pots (if outside) or mason jars (if inside).
— If building an outside garden, it’s best to first lay down some mulch or alternative such as small rocks or pine needles and leaves. This helps retain the moisture in the plants when you water them.
— Once your mulch is laid down, arrange your pots by how much water will be needed. For example, if you have plants like mint that need a LOT of watering, arrange those on the perimeter of your garden so they’re easier to access
— Check each of the pots you are using and make sure they have holes in the bottom. If not, it’s beneficial to drill small holes in the bottom of the pots so they don’t flood the plant if it rains.
— Fill each of the pots with soil (i.e. miracle grow or other branded potting mix).
— If you have seeds, follow planting instructions on the packet for planting depth and spacing If you are using pre-germinated plants, there should be instructions with the plant on how to replant them into your own pots.
— Once all the plants are repotted or seeds are planted, follow instructions on your insecticide to protect your garden from all the summer critters that want to feast on your plants. Most of these insecticide products need to be connected to a hose.
— Remember sunscreen and a hat when you are working in the garden during the day!
— Have fun! Make sure you relax and enjoy this new hobby!
Eva is a Category Manager at Vitacost for the Food, Home, Pets and Baby categories. She’s lived in Florida almost her entire life, has two puppies and was in search of a hobby that would help her relax so her husband convinced her to try container gardening. Eva has never been a serious nature-lover (except for the ocean) but is venturing out into the seedy (pun intended) world of gardening as a beginner to mix some relaxation with the gratification of planting something and watching it grow.