Basic gardening tips for yards of all sizes

If you think you haven't got a green thumb on your body, think again. Gardening can be beneficial in so many ways, you've got to give it a try at least once!

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  • Some of my fondest memories were created in gardens. Both of my grandparents tended beautiful gardens and trips to their houses always involved going out to pick whatever was in season. My grandmother would hand me a green berry box and my siblings and I would get lost in the rows and rows of plump, red raspberries (eating more than what made it into those little containers!)

  • When my husband and I purchased our first home, with a spacious backyard, I knew that a garden was a must. So the very next summer we got to work and made some raised grow boxes. We've had a (mostly) successful garden for two years now and I hope to continue to make it better the rest of my life.

  • Over the past two years, I have learned a great deal about how to start up a garden. Here are some basic tips to get you started:

  • You only need a little space

  • Have you given up on the notion of starting a garden because you have very little (or no) yard? Guess what? You don't need a lot of space. Vertical gardening is a fabulous way to pack in a lot of fruits and veggies with a small punch. This is one that I'm going to talk my husband into building. Here are a few more vertical garden ideas that seem simple enough.

  • You can grow a garden using pots

  • If you don't want to delve into vertical gardening, stock up on a few big pots. Using some nice, fertile soil, you can grow a small harvest on your front porch. You can also try hanging baskets or tomato hanging plants to adorn your patio.

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  • Try using cinderblocks

  • Cinderblock gardens are yet another option for those of you with limited space. Plus, they are super cheap, modern, and customizable. What else could a gardener want?

  • Create a gardening plan

  • This post by A Cultivated Nestis very informative when it comes time to figure out your garden plan. Some things she covers includes, how to determine the best location for your garden and her top three reasons for growing a vegetable garden. It's a great read.

  • There are many gardening resources available online

  • Smart Gardener is a wonderful, free resource on gardening. By signing up, you can enter your specific garden details and they will help you choose which vegetables and fruits to plant. They also have a fun harvest calculator to estimate how much money you are saving by growing your own food.

  • Know the basics of gardening

  • Good soil, lots of sunshine, and plenty of water are key to growing a successful garden. If you don't have close access to a water source and hose, an old-fashioned watering can will do the trick. That's what I use and it works well.

  • With a little knowledge and some determination, you can discover how wonderful it is to maintain a garden and reap the fruit of your labors.

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Jessie McKinley is a city girl living in a small town. A graduate in Home and Family Living, she now puts her knowledge to use daily as she teaches and raises her two young children, whom she adores.

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