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Have you always dreamed of having a garden, filled with fresh fruits and vegetables? A lot of people prolong their desire to have a garden for a handful of reasons, ranging from not having the space, to not really knowing where to start. Even if you don’t have the backyard of your dreams, you can still have a garden! Garden boxes are great for apartment living, and many small plants will thrive in a garden made on a balcony, patio, or even fire escape. If you’re a beginner gardener, here are a few tips to get you started!

Figure out what kind of soil you have

 

Determining your soil is an important step to helping you choose the right plants. If you live in a desert, and your soil is mostly made up of sand, this will have an affect on the types of plants you should use! When in doubt, head to a local nursery or gardening supply shop, they’ll know more about soil types!

 

What plants grow well in your climate?

 

Again, if you’re having a hard time figuring out what plants to add to your garden, you can head to your nursery and someone there will know what kinds of plants would be best for your garden based on the climate you are in! For example, orange trees are going to do well in climates like California and Arizona, but not all climates are suited for citrus!

 

When do I start planting?

 

As soon as you’ve had the last freeze of the season, you can start planting your garden! Some plants, like herbs, can be potted and brought inside during the winter, and then transplanted back outside once it’s warmer, so you have fresh herbs year round. Since it’s now April, you’re probably safe to get started planting now! Once you’ve decided which plants you want to add to your garden, you can determine when the best time of the year is best to plant them.

 

Do I need to compost?

 

If you’re able to compost, you should! It’s easiest for people who have actual yards to compost, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t compost for your small gardens and garden boxes. Compost will enrich your soil, growing stronger and more flavorful plants. It also is a great way to contribute to the environment, as it provides a natural place for many necessary insects to live and thrive.