GARDENING, THE REASON YOU NEED OPEN SPACE

And Using Your Extra Time at Home To Nourish Your Soul

If you’re a first-time gardener, you might not know what fruits, veggies, or flowers to start your garden off with. Below is a list of some of the easiest and most recommended plants to add to your garden.

I have always wanted to start a garden. A hectic schedule and two young children kept it off the priority list until COVID-19. I am now finding time to slow down, breathe and literally smell the roses. I say this not to minimize the pain and struggle this has caused for MILLIONS of people, but to be a gentle reminder that time is precious and irreplaceable.

So why is a Realtor writing a blog about gardening? Because being outside is good for the soul, and fresh fruits, veggies, and herbs are good for your health, and having a space to grow them in, is where I come in! You may be in need of a sun-filled townhome, or a traditional single family with a fenced yard, or going headfirst into homesteading and looking for acreage. Whatever the need I am here to help!

But back to gardening, here are some helpful tips on being successful! My little garden is looking fantastic, as are my chickens. Best of luck to you as well!

Vegetables

CUCUMBERS

Cucumbers can be a great addition to any salad or be made into delicious pickles. After the last frost has ended, you can either plant the cucumbers directly into the ground or pick up some seeds from a nursery. Just make sure there is plenty of sunlight, well-drained soil, and room for the cucumber vines to grow. Once the cucumbers are bright green and firm, it’s time to harvest.

PEPPERS

Who doesn’t love a crunchy and flavorful addition to salads and other healthy recipes? Because peppers like hot weather, it is suggested that you start growing the seeds indoors for 4–6 weeks before moving them into your garden outside. If you’re unable to keep the plant inside, you can also purchase sprouted seedlings from a nursery that will be strong enough to plant immediately outdoors.

BASIL

Basil is not only a multipurpose herb in your recipes but also in your garden. It’s a natural bug repellent, and some people say it makes tomatoes taste better when you grow the two in close proximity. To plant basil, start placing the seeds at least 12 inches apart about 6 weeks before the last frost is expected.

LETTUCE

Whether you’re looking to grow leaf lettuce or head lettuce, this is an easy plant to take care of. Unlike some of the other plants above, lettuce prefers to grow in cool weather. As long as it’s not below 45°F, lettuce can survive with a little bit of frost. Just plant the seeds in well-drained soil and in about 50-75 days, your lettuce will be ready to eat. It helps to harvest in the morning, so the leaves don’t go limp from the sun.

Fruits

BLUEBERRIES

Blueberries are the perfect healthy treat to pop in your mouth on a hot day. Even better, they’re fairly easy to grow yourself. There is a bit of preparation to do to your soil, since blueberries need acidic soil ranging from a pH level of 4.0–6.0.

STRAWBERRIES

If you aren’t careful, strawberries can take over your garden. It helps to grow them in vertical planters to keep from overpowering everything else. When planting them, cover the roots with soil, but give the bud some room to breathe so they won’t rot. Continue watering them regularly until the strawberries are nice and ripe.

TOMATOES

They thrive in the heat, so make sure you plant them indoors 6–8 weeks before the last frost. (Because of the weather, it’s better off to start growing them indoors in pots.) Once the plants grow at least four leaves each, it’s time to find a bigger container. Wait until one week before the last frost to finally put them outside in your garden, planted about 12–48 inches apart. Make sure the plant has plenty of sunshine throughout the growing process.

Although there are many different crops to add to your garden, the best time of year to plant them is NOW get those babies in the ground before May. The next season, for most of Georgia, to plant is June-September.

Elizabeth Marcelline

678-536-3833 (770) 766-8422

Georgia State Alum with a background in Commercial Contracting and currently ranks in top 10% as producer at Red Barn