Across the board almost all gardening advice and tips are the same regardless of where you live.
The two main things that will change your experience include zones and soil types.
I’ve covered soil types in various articles here on the blog and in my book Startle Garden Now. Soil is a topic I’m passionate about because this is where gardening begins.
For me, I learned a lot about dirt in my grandma’s backyard. I was young and assumed everybody across the planet was gardening in loamy soil.
As life marched on, Robert and I purchased our first home in Everett, Washington. I was 30 and this is where I grew my first garden.
To begin, all I had to do was grab a shovel and dig.
In one season I added 5 planting areas using that same shovel.
The soil was amazing, we grew awesome vegetables, herbs and flowers and it was a breeze to move forward.
Nine months after living in that house an opportunity to move back to Texas surfaced and we jumped on it.
Robert found us a beautiful new home and made sure it came with a huge backyard. I had dreams of gardening on a large scale and agreed this particular lot was perfect.
Ready to dive in, I remember breaking that same shovel while digging.
At that moment I was introduced to clay and quickly realized I had a lot to learn about gardening in this new climate.
This was year 2000, we didn’t have a computer and I couldn’t call my grandma because dementia was slipping her away.
The moral of the story is, I had to figure it out…
Priority #1 Included Getting Back to Basics.
I took what I learned from grandma, utilized the library to study my new zone and things eventually came together.
Gardening is an ongoing learning experience and that’s what I love most about it.
We learn as we go and, in the process, we grow…
My garden style back then was very different than how I garden today.
It’s actually less work because I realized it was faster to amend soil in raised beds.
So, when I look back, I’m thankful for all those years of learning because it’s brought me to where I am today.
To Begin, Focus on Your Planting Zone
To begin focus on your planting zone and discover your soil type.
I highly recommend my book, Startle Garden Now because I’ve placed this activity in simple steps using smaller and taller raised beds that are easy to maintain.
Read the reviews and discover more here.
Then, focus on your planting zone to discover what you can grow in your area.
If you’re in a hurry to learn, move forward by using the information on the back of seed packets. Some are more helpful than others but most will bullet point basic details to help you begin.
Where ever you live, the information on these packets and plant tags will help you understand your zone.
What Change for Each Zone Includes:
- What you can plant
- Hours of sunlight
- When to plant
- When to harvest.
So, let’s chat about those 4 areas because I know you’ll find my simple way of viewing each one to be refreshing.
What you can Plant?
Everybody has their own idea of what should grow in a garden. Most automatically connect gardening with food.
For many of us, gardening goes beyond what you can grow to eat.
Some enjoy growing plants like herbs and fresh cut flowers where others prefer a variety of perennial gardens.
The first thing you need to decide is, “What kind of garden do you want to grow?”
Decide which plants to grow and grab my free planner here.
This handy planner includes seasonal planting tips and additional printable pages for taking notes.
Plant selections will be based on your zone, which will require additional research to narrow down.
This won’t require a lot of time because remember you can quickly find that information on seed packets.
Selecting Hours of Sunlight
Hours of sunlight is very important and allows for a little investigation.
- Make sure you can provide the proper lighting for the plants you want to grow.
Once you have a list together the next step will be to evaluate required lighting.
Again this information will be on the back of seed packets or included on a plastic stick with plant purchases.
You may also enjoy this read, matching plants to hours of sunlight. It’s loaded with helpful details for spring and fall gardening.
When you will Plant
When it’s time to plant will depend on the last freeze date.
This will vary across the country and you can visit the Old Farmer’s Almanac to find those results.
I actually track the local weather to stay on target with that date because as we all know weather changes.
Harvesting details will also be on the back of seed packets.
This information is simple by stating how many days it takes for plants to mature from germination.
Calculate to find the date, then record using the free garden planner.
So, if You’re Following What I’m Saying use this Checklist:
- New or seasoned gardeners who want an easy to maintain garden, Get my book, Startle Garden Now.
- Write down what you want to grow and make sure you can provide correct hours of sunlight.
- Uncover your last freeze date and write it down as this will impact planting.
- Then calculate germination to maturity to estimate when harvesting begins.
Starting a garden in any zone doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s important to understand that gardening isn’t an overnight success activity.
It can take years to figure things out especially if you move around a lot like I have.
But it’s not impossible to comprehend, especially if you have a desire to grow.
The best all zone gardening advice begins with wanting to learn so you can grow what your heart desires.
Thanks for joining me today
Smiles and Sunshine, Carole West