A Beginner’s Guide to Home Gardening

backyard of a new construction home in lincoln university, pa

July 12, 2021

If you’re looking for a fun way to spend your time, spruce up your backyard and spice up your home-cooked meals, a home garden might be the perfect solution for you. Wilkinson Homes wants you to make the most of your outdoor space, so we’ve provided a few tips to starting a home garden—with no prior experience or knowledge required.  

Find the ideal spot in your yard

Just like finding the perfect home, finding the perfect spot for your home garden is all about location. Observe how sunlight flows through your yard to determine what area provides at least six hours of sunlight per day—the minimum recommendation for most vegetables, herbs and fruits. 

Aside from finding a sunny spot, it’s also important that you can see the garden from a window or sliding glass door inside your home. This isn’t a requirement, but the more you see your garden, the more likely you are to spend time in it and take care of it. Lastly, consider an area within reach of your hose or other water source. No one wants to lug a heavy watering can back and forth when there’s a gardening hose nearby. 

Build your base 

Now that you’ve found the right space in your yard, it’s time to create the base of your garden. The biggest decision to make here is between an in-ground bed or raised bed, which is done by purchasing or building planter boxes. Choosing between in-ground and raised beds is totally up to you as the gardener, but we’ll dig into the pros and cons of each. (please refer to your HOA documents for conditions)

In-ground gardens don’t cost much money upfront, and can be expanded easily as needed. Depending on the soil health that already exists, you might not need to supplement with potting soil. However, for best growing conditions it’s suggested that you till and mix your original soil with good, store-bought potting soil. 

Raised planter boxes require an upfront investment, whether you go with store-bought or DIY. With this type, you’ll have more control over soil quality and more defense against pests—from bugs and rodents to your family’s dog or cat. Most homeowners find the biggest benefits of planter boxes to be their ergonomic design. Raised garden beds place less stress on your back and knees.

Pick the right plants 

Once you’ve decided between a raised or in-ground garden, you’re ready to pick your plants. It’s important to select plants that match your growing conditions, so do your homework and pick varieties that will grow well where you live, thrive in the space you have and require the amount of work you’re willing to put in. 

Fruits, vegetables and herbs can be grown well in Delaware and Pennsylvania if you pay attention to frost dates. The best plants for beginner gardens include peas, kale, radishes, lettuces, summer squash, eggplant, peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes. For herbs, try scallions, basil, cilantro and mint. 

When picking which plants to grow, it’s important to also consider what you actually like to eat. If no one in your family is particularly fond of radishes, leave them out and fill the spot with a family favorite. 

Incorporate hobbies into your home  

Start envisioning your dream home—and home garden—today. Contact Wilkinson Homes via online form or give us a call at (610) 274-8283. 

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