It’s definitely not a secret that “going green” has been all the rage lately, and hey, that’s not a bad thing. Staying trendy while saving the planet? I can dig it.
While most of us Millennials are probably more familiar with Farmville than the actual concept of gardening, it’s not as intimidating as it sounds. You don’t need a big backyard or a green thumb to benefit from it.

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Not only does gardening save money, it provides many therapeutic benefits from relieving stress to improving brain and mental health, as well as promising a double on your investment (if you do it right). And while we love all of these amazing advantages of do-it-yourself gardening, the greatest return is knowing exactly where your food is coming from, and you can’t beat that.

Pick a Purpose
Is this going to be a flower garden? A vegetable garden? An herb garden? This is probably the most important step during this whole process, because there are many factors and limitations regarding what you can grow based on sun exposure, space, finances, etc., so make it worth your while.

Educate Yourself
Now that you’ve established your motive, educate yourself on what exactly it is that you are doing. Make sure you master “companion planting,” the strategic planting of different crops in proximity for pollination, pest control, maximizing the use of space, and increasing crop productivity. Bad plant combinations can be the demise of your your garden before it even sprouts.

Realizing the exact needs of each one of your plants is vital to the success of your garden.

Pick a Place
For people with a large backyard or a generous amount of green space to work with, this step may not be as challenging. However, if you live in an urban area, your space is limited, especially when it comes to your garden. However, there are a couple of spaces where you can start.

  • Fire escapes
  • Handrails
  • Balconies or patios
  • Ceilings
  • Walls
  • Windowsill boxes
  • Along the side of the building

Once you’ve determined where exactly to lay down your roots, pun intended, take into consideration the three basic requirements for success:

  • Full sun
  • Plenty of water
  • Good soil

Dig or Don’t
Now it’s time to get a little dirty. Digging loosens the soil, which allows the plant’s root to establish themselves. However, digging when the soil is too wet or too dry can ruin its structure. In beds of annual flowers and vegetable gardens, only turn the soil once a year.

Time to Plant
Starting your own garden is exciting and it’s important to remember certain plants thrive during certain seasons, so start your garden according to the recommended planting dates. Some plants are easy to grow from seeds and can be sown indoors before the last frost if you are eager to get a head start.

Your garden is hopefully on its way and you will soon be reaping the benefits.