Summer is here, the weather is beautiful… It’s the perfect time to start that garden you’ve always talked about. Grow your own fresh vegetables, herbs, and maybe some flowers, too. But where do you start? How do you do it? Here are a few beginner gardening tips to get you started this summer.

Location, Location, Location

Where you put your plants is one of the most important factors in how well they grow. For vegetables, you’ll need to find a spot where they’ll get at least 6 hours of sunlight every day—but not so much sun that they’ll overheat. You should also make sure they’re near a water source—either by a sprinkler, or within reach of your garden hose. Putting your garden within reach of water is much easier than dragging a can to the spot day after day.

Finally, your garden should be positioned in a spot where you’ll see it every day, when you look out the window or walk out of the house. This is about more than aesthetics. If your garden is in an out of the way spot, you’re more likely to forget about it from one day to the next and not give it the regular care and attention it deserves. Seeing it daily will provide the reminder to work on it.

Your Hardiness Zone

It’s important to know your area’s hardiness zone. That means what kind of plants can grow in the area, according to how much rainfall it gets, its temperature range, etc. For instance, the Madison, WI area is in Hardiness Zone 5a. That means, in the summer, some of the best vegetables to plant include sweet corn, cucumber, leeks, endives, eggplants, and watermelons. You can also plant lavender, poppies, violets, ferns, and foxglove—among many other things. Do some research to see what other plants will thrive in your area, and what you might like to grow.

Soil and Mulch

It’s essential to plant your garden in the right soil. Great, nutrient-rich topsoil that drains well will help your plants to thrive. To fill a garden bed, you’ll need about 8 inches of it.

The other thing you need is mulch. This goes on top of the topsoil. A layer of something like grass clippings, dried leaves, compost, or even shredded newspaper will help enrich the soil, hold in water, and suppress weeds, so that your garden grows more heartily.

Using Containers

What if you don’t have a big yard to plant your garden? You can have it instead on your front porch, balcony, or windowsill. Just get a few pots and other containers. You can use individual pots for each plant, or get a bigger pot and plant a few different herbs and smaller plants in it. You can even build a box to put your plants in.

Do some research to see how much room each of your plants needs, and make sure you have a pot or container large enough for each one. And be sure your containers have enough drainage, so the plants’ roots can get enough air, and the water doesn’t stagnate.

Trust a Worm to Know Good Dirt

Gardening is a fun, relaxing, and incredibly rewarding experience. It may seem intimidating at first, but with the right tools and materials, and a bit of practice, before long, you’ll have a green thumb of your own, and be enjoying the fruits of your labors by the end of the summer. Contact the professionals today at Keleny Top Soil to learn more.