Are you getting into gardening for the first time in your life? You probably don’t even know where to start. It’s no secret that beginning to grow your own garden for the first time can be a bit overwhelming. Below are some tips that can help make growing your own garden a bit easier.

Design your garden so that your harvest is staggered over as long a season as possible. Use cold-tolerant root crops and greens in the fall, for example, and plan to pick and preserve early strawberries in June. This way, you will have the space and time in your life to store everything you grow.

Start your plants in containers before transferring them to the garden. They are more likely to survive the transition to adulthood with this method. It also allows you to tighten up the time periods between plantings. When you remove your mature plants, the next batch of seedlings should be ready.

It is obvious that plants require water to grow. It’s also important to know the amount of water that particular plants actually need. Overwatering or under-watering a plant can severely damage its growth and health. Overwatering can result in root rot, where the water-filled environment encourages the growth of microbes that eat away at the roots. Under-watering a plant can make it’s leaves dry and brittle.

If you do not want to expose your family to harmful pesticides in your garden, consider using organic pesticides. Organic pesticides do not have the harmful chemicals commonly found in ordinary pesticides. Fragrant herbs like rosemary, basil, and mint are often disliked by pests, and they are good choices to plant around your garden to ward off pests.

When and why should shrubs be pruned? Most shrubs need pruning to increase flowering. Deciduous spring and early flowering shrubs should be pruned immediately after flowering. Cut back old wood to encourage new growth. The buds for next year’s flowers will appear on this new wood. Late summer flowering shrubs should be pruned in spring. They will produce flowers on the shoots that grow immediately after pruning. Winter flowering shrubs simply need pruning in early spring to clean up any dead or diseased branches.

To make sure you don’t accidentally dig up bulbs in the following year, mark them with twigs. They should stay in place over the winter, and will be an easy reminder when you’re planting new things in the spring. This is especially nice because you don’t have to buy anything beforehand. Just grab some nearby twigs and put them in place.

Be sure to test your soil before you plant your garden, if you want to be successful without the need for chemicals. A home testing kit can tell you the pH of your soil, which indicates the likelihood of plant survival. A vegetable garden requires a pH of about 6.5; if your soil is off, you can supplement before your plants start to die.

Water your organic garden with storm water runoffs and collected rainwater. Rainwater is more pure and better for plants than home tap water, because it won’t contain chemicals such as chlorine or fluoride. Using rainwater also helps in reducing your overall water usage. Rainwater can even be stored in barrels or cisterns to be used during dry spells.

Your plants need to grow in a rich soil. You can buy bags of soil but they can be quite expensive. You can also easily create your own: you need to use perlite, vermiculite and peat in equal quantities. You should also add a small quantity of lime and compost if needed.

Planting a living hedge around your property has many benefits. Hedges provide a softer barrier to mark the perimeter of your property and are less forbidding than a structured wall. A living hedge will provide privacy but still discourage trespassing by animals or people. If you have a hedge that blooms, it can be a lovely backdrop in addition to your landscape.

As you have seen, gardening is not as scary as it may appear. Just think of all of the benefits it has to provide you with in regards to health and food. The above list of tips should have given you a good starting place, so that you can start growing smarter.