Helpful Tips to Know When Starting Your Homestead Garden

Brown Shovel
Wendie and I are so happy to be sharing a guest post by freelance writer Rae Steinbach. Let us know your thoughts by joining the comments below, and don't forget to subscribe for more homesteading goodness!

Does the idea of living off the land appeal to you? Do you want to live more sustainably by growing your own food? If so, you may be interested in starting a
homestead garden. This is simply a garden in which you focus on growing food for your own consumption.

It’s easy to understand why this might appeal to self-reliant people interested in sustainable lifestyles. However, if you don’t have much gardening experience, there are a few things you’ll need to know before you get started.

These tips will help you with garden preparation. If you’re planning on growing your own homestead garden, keep them in mind to get the best possible results.

Research What You’ll Grow

getting your garden ready for spring
Different types of foods grow better in different seasons. For example, your list of what to plant in a spring garden and what to plant in the summer will not be the same. 

The season certainly affects how certain fruits and vegetables grow, and knowing what to plant in a spring garden will help you ensure you get the most from your land. That’s why it’s important that you research which are best to plant during the time of year you’re planning on starting your garden.

Choose the Right Spot

garden preparationYou also need to research how much sunlight your chosen plants do (or do not) need over the course of a normal day. This will help you choose an appropriate spot for your garden.

Make sure the spot isn’t tucked away in a hidden corner on your property. If it’s not immediately visible, you may overlook it, failing to give your plants the attention they need.

Learn How to Prepare Your Garden for Planting

how to prepare garden for planting
It’s worth noting that you don’t always need a decent amount of space to start a homestead garden. If you don’t have much space to work with, container gardening is an option to consider.

Otherwise, garden preparation should start with you removing any leaves, debris, and sod from the chosen area. You may also want to use a tool like an electric chainsaw to trim any unruly branches that could block the sun from your plants.

If you’re just learning how to prepare a garden for planting, there are plenty of tools that can come in handy. Shovels, trowels, gloves, a lightweight wheelbarrow, and stakes (depending on what you’re planning on growing) can all make spring garden preparation easier.

When it comes to getting your garden ready for spring, you’ll also want to make sure your soil is healthy. You can easily do this by testing its pH. If it’s too alkaline or neutral for your chosen plants, you may need to make adjustments. An expert at your local garden center can recommend useful products depending on the quality of your soil.

Finally, if you’re very serious about homestead gardening, you may want to invest in a composter. Composting your own food is a great way to use resources sustainably and provide your soil with nutrition.

Look Into Companion Planting

spring gardeningYou want to take all necessary steps to ensure the plants in your garden thrive. Thus, it’s a good idea to research companion plants

These are plants which help their neighbors survive by improving the garden conditions for them. An example would be a taller plant that offers shade to one that doesn’t need as much sun exposure.

Stick to a Schedule

what to plant in a spring garden
Learn everything there is to learn about the plants in your garden, and put together a schedule for tending to them.

This is important. If you try to remember how to care for your garden without writing the steps down and scheduling them, you’ll be less likely to give your plants proper care.

On the other hand, by sticking to a schedule, keeping these tips in mind, and remembering that gardening is all about making incremental improvements, you’ll be feeding yourself with food from your own garden in no time. Getting your garden ready for spring is easier than you may think, and these tips will help you get the most out of your homestead garden.

Meet Guest Author Rae Steinbach:

Rae is a graduate of Tufts University with a combined International Relations and Chinese degree. 

After spending time living and working abroad in China, she returned to NYC to pursue her career and continue curating quality content. 

Rae is passionate about travel, food, and writing, of course.