County Farm Centre has everything you need when it comes to gardening. If you are new to gardening, we can help you get started!
Why Grow a Garden?
Gardening can be an excellent hobby. It gets you outdoors, provides light exercise, and in most cases, it is better for the environment than a short, mowed lawn. Gardening can be an excellent way to get creative and problem-solve. You can show off your artistic side by adding garden décor and landscaping. And who doesn’t love to see the birds, bees, and butterflies: they will visit your garden regularly.
Many municipalities are now promoting gardening, even in the frown lawn of your urban residential area. It’s a great conversation starter with neighbours and your community! Alternatively, you may choose to garden in your backyard for privacy.
Types of Gardening.
What type of garden are you looking to grow? That will often depend on your interests and space.
1. Food Garden
Growing your own food has many benefits. Food grown in your own garden will benefit from freshness and nutrition. It is also a great way to save money from your grocery bill and share your surplus with family, friends, and neighbours. You can grow both vegetables and small fruits like berries.
2. Bee and Butterfly Garden
Interested in attracting bees and butterflies? Planting flowers and small shrubs will attract them. Be sure to include a water feature as insects will congregate for a drink, especially in hot, dry weather. Butterflies will look for wet soil to look for minerals.
How to get started
The first thing you’ll need to get started is a space to grow in! If you are looking to convert your lawn into a garden, you will need to remove the sod and loosen the soil. There are several ways to convert lawn to garden, and you may need to reach out for help from a landscaping company. If space is of limited supply, you can also do container gardening which you can fill with soil and grow in your containers and place them on your patio or balcony.
The great part about getting started in gardening is there are infinite ways to learn. Online articles and videos, books at your local library, you can talk to our friendly staff at County Farm Centre. Also, consider reaching out to your neighbours or community who have their own garden and see if they are willing to help you out.
What You’ll Need
Growing a garden, successfully, will depend on a few things:
1. Soil Quality
If you are converting a lawn to garden, the quality of the soil will vary. In new residential areas, chances are the soil layer (your growing medium) is very thin, and not very productive. However if you have had a lawn for decades, you may be the recipient of some high-quality soil from the many years of grasses breaking down and building up your soil quality. Adding organic matter to your garden is simple enough and will help your soil. County Farm Centre sells soil amendments and fertilizers that can get your garden growing!
2. Direct Sun
Ensure you have 8 hours of direct sunlight per day. Direct sunlight may be impacted by your surrounding trees and buildings and the position your house is facing in relation to the sun.
You will need a water source to regularly irrigate your garden at specific stages or when rainfall is minimal. A couple of tips here include setting up a rain barrel underneath your eavestroughs and adding organic matter and mulches to your garden which help retain moisture. Be sure to get a high-quality hose to cover the entire length of your garden.
4. Garden Tools
Having the right tools for the job can save you a lot of work. Whether it’s turning over the soil, removing weeds or putting seeds in the ground, County Farm Centre has a wide selection of tools to help you.
5. Seeds or Starts
Finally, you’ll need the actual seeds or plants. Buying seeds is the most economical way to grow, but some learning may be required to be successful. Some things like squash and onions will require some indoor growing which need to have supplemental lighting and a good seed starting mix (available at County Farm Centre). Alternatively, you can get yourself going with “starts” or seedlings. Specialized growers who have greenhouses and the right equipment can get a plant started for you and essentially take away much of the difficulty and patience of getting seeds started.
If you are brand new to gardening, don’t take on too much! Gardening should be a relaxing past time, so don’t overburden yourself. There will be a learning curve, and the inevitable weeding will take time and patience. You can always start with some containers or a small raised bed if you want to take baby steps and build up your skills.
We’re here to help! Drop into County Farm Centre and talk to our friendly staff about your gardening goals and we can help put you in the right direction.