Planning A Summer Garden
Quick tips to make a summer garden easy for beginners!
I am a relatively new gardener. I’ve done pots of tomatoes, peppers, herbs, and green beans before, but when we moved into our new house, I decided it was time for a big summer garden!
First, my husband and I decided to build raised beds. These were relatively inexpensive, for each raised bed we used (2) 10ft 1×6’s and (1) 6ft 1×6. We cut the smaller 1×6 in half for the short sides. The stakes were made out of 2x2s. We used (1) 8ft 2×2 per box and cut it into (8) 1ft stakes and made a point on one end to hammer them into the ground.
The completed raised beds measure 3ft x 10ft. With a stake hammered into the ground at each corner and another two stakes on each long side. My husband screwed the boards into the stakes with 2″ screws. We ended up making four raised beds. I hope they will last us many years!
Next, I planned out which plants to grow! If you live in the Midwest, check out MIGardener on youtube, he is very helpful since he is growing his garden in the same kind of raised beds and is also in the area! His info was very relevant!
We are planning to grow:
- green peppers
- red peppers
- sugar snap peas
- blueberry bushes
- marigolds to keep away bugs
This Garden Planning website was also very helpful in deciding which plants to grow and where to place them. You can use the planning center for free for 1 week. It lets you add your plants to a map, and tells you how much space they will need. And also what other plants they like to be planted by!
Preparing the raised beds for planting
And finally, we prepared the soil- first by breaking up the dirt 18 inches down with a shovel. This was a lot of work, I wish I had a tiller! Plants like to have loose soil to grow their roots into so this is an important step.
I also planted each plant with a helping of miracle grow soil. This stuff is amazing, last year I planted half my potted plants with miracle grow soil, ran out, and just bought a potting mix for the rest. Later in the summer, the plants planted with miracle grow soil were double the size of the other ones!
Along with the miracle grow I also purchased this plant food Miracle-Gro Performance Organics Edibles Plant Nutrition Granules. Some plants are high nitrogen feeders, (info from MIGardener😆) so when I dug up the hole to plant them, I placed some of this plant food in with it. I will also dissolve some in water and try to feed them every other week or so. I haven’t used this particular plant food before, but I hope it works well since it’s the Miracle Grow brand!
Here are some fun garden markers my daughter and I made together. I just cut some extra wood from the garage to make little wood tags. I labeled them and she colored the pictures for me! She was so happy to help!
And that’s it! I hope that at the middle and end of the summer I have nothing but positive things to report! Sadly, I have been checking on my garden and I have some critters eating the leaves of my plants already. So I purchased this garden netting. I hope to put it up with stakes this weekend. It is flexible so that way I can drape it over when I am not working on the garden. Instead of stakes, you could also use these garden hoops.
Happy Gardening! I hope this beginner how-to helps if you are new to gardening like me! Let me know in the comments what you plan to plant this summer!