Backyard Garden Basics For Homemakers is brought to you after many failed garden attempts & perseverance! Homemaking definitely includes gardening, so I have spent the last sixteen years dreaming of growing a beautiful garden.
The funny – not so funny – thing is that I grew up on a farm! However, I actually was not very involved with planning, prepping, planting, and tending our garden, but I was involved in the harvesting and preserving.
With visions of the bountiful garden from my childhood in my head, I longed to grow my own garden so badly. But, our two previous attempts had ended in failure.
We tried a raised garden bed and a large garden in the ground, but they were not successful. Both times, we barely yielded a handful from a couple of the plants.
Resources For A Backyard Garden
Growing Your Own Vegetables: An Encyclopedia of Country Living GuideThe Backyard Homestead: Produce all the food you need on just a quarter acre!Best Choice Products Vegetable Raised Garden Bed Patio Backyard Grow Flowers elevated PlanterYour Backyard Herb Garden: A Gardener’s Guide to Growing, Using and Enjoying Herbs OrganicallyBest Choice Products 4’x3′ Raised Vegetable Garden Bed Patio Backyard Grow Flowers Elevated PlanterAll You Need is Love And a Little Rain Tin Gardening Watering Can
So, what was the problem?
- bad soil (both gardens were on recently logged land and our raised garden was filled with yucky leftover dirt from a construction job site).
- really, nothing could be worse than starting with worthless soil, but my lack of attention contributed to the lack of success.
Turns out, being pregnant (and sick) and giving birth (and caring for a newborn) EVERY year for nine years takes up a lot of time & energy! Throw in a few serious medical conditions and special needs children, and you get a neglected garden!
After getting married, we lived on 5 & 20-acre farms in the first several years of our marriage. Now we have been in the city for over seven years.
I have spent the last few years waiting for my ship to come in (AKA: getting back on a farm) so that I could finally try my hand (or should I say thumb?) at gardening again. Surely I would be successful at some point, right?!
Fast-forward to this year: our youngest child is four and our medical conditions have stabilized (praise the Lord!). And here we are: renting a small house on a small city lot.
So, we decided to embrace our urban life and build an urban garden from scratch. After asking my dad (a seasoned gardener/farmer) and others within my online community for advice, assigning the job of research to my oldest child, browsing Pinterest, and visiting our local farm store – we did it!
We are still learning, but we have been so blessed with our garden this year! I am excited to try my hand at a fall garden, too.
Urban Backyard Garden Basics For Homemakers
Download the Backyard Garden Basics For Homemakers printable for free by filling out the form above >> or grab the Homemaker’s Backyard Garden Journal: Planner & Tracker from beginning to end (includes the Backyard Garden Basics For Homemakers pages, too)!
Sketch A Plan & Calculate How Much Space You Have
- Since we are talking about urban backyard gardens, we are dealing with limited space.
- We are renting so we wanted to take up a minimal amount of ground. For this reason, we chose to build garden boxes on legs.
- Other options include pots, hanging pots/boxes, raised beds, and vertical growing.
- It is a good idea to sketch a rough layout/plan of your garden before building and planting.
Choose What You Will Plant
- You’ll want to choose the vegetables you love that are also known to grow well in your area.
- Zucchini & radishes are said to be the easiest to grow.
- Decide if you want to stick with organic (I recommend you do).
- Choose the quantities of each plant based on its expected yield.
Research Your Zone
- Speaking of your area, be sure to check out the plant hardiness zone map to learn about your area. You can see it HERE.
- Talk to seasoned gardeners from your area and ask their advice.
- Visit your local farm store or garden nursery.
Write A To-Do & Shopping List
- What do you need to do?
- What do you need to buy?
Build or Prepare Your Garden
- Get your materials and supplies. Build and prepare your beds, boxes, etc.
- Start with good soil! Bring in a good garden mix from your local nursery/rockery if needed to make sure your garden has a healthy soil. We used a composted garden blend.
- Add in and use an organic fertilizer. We bought a bag from our local farm store.
- Do not put fresh manure on your garden, because it will burn them.
Plant Your Garden
- Combine advice from seasoned gardeners with advice from the farm store employee with information from a garden book and the information that came on the little vegetable labels to determine exactly how you will plant each variety.
- Follow the instructions carefully. This was something I did not do with my previous (failed) gardening attempts.
- Do or Don’t add fertilizer or other nutrient boosters to the soil based on each plant’s needs.
- Say a little prayer for God’s blessing as you sow each seed or place each start.
- Water daily, morning & evening. This is what we have done and our garden is growing beautifully!
- For tomatoes, pinch off the little suckers so that they don’t suck the nutrients from the plant.
- Mulch, if needed. We piled up extra soil/bark chips around our potato plants this year while they were little.
- Weed, if needed. We have had very little weeds in our high-rise garden boxes!
Track Your Progress (hint: this is where the Homemaker’s Backyard Garden Journal: Planner & Tracker will really come in handy!)
- Record the date you planted each variety.
- Take note of the days until maturity.
- Jot down your ideas for using the produce fresh.
- Jot down ways you plan to preserve your harvest (freeze, can, or dry).
- Track the yield.
Harvest & Preserve
- Research & learn the best ways to prepare & preserve your harvest!
- As you harvest your produce, use what you can fresh.
- Preserve via canning, freezing, and/or drying.
- Praise the Lord for His blessings!
Gardening takes commitment, perseverance, and patience. I am proof that if you don’t give up, you will eventually succeed!
Also, it’s okay if your life simply is not ready for a garden … we all go through seasons and need to work with the opportunities, resources, time, and energy we have.
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; … He hath made every thing beautiful in his time” Ecclesiastes 3:1, 2, 11.
More Garden Tips & Resources
A Fall Garden with the Kids from Spring Lake Homestead
Bouquets from My Cutting Garden 2018 from Our Good Life
D is for Discouraging from Mid-Life Blogger
Tips for a Successful Fall Garden from Homestead in the Holler
When to Plant a Fall Garden from Oak Hill Homestead
Gardening Woes, but it’s NOT too late! from The inquisitive Farmwife
Fall Gardening In A Drought from Faithful Homestead
7 Tips For Preparing The Fall Garden from The Farmer’s Lamp