Tips for Cultivating Your Inner Green Thumb

Whether your home is sitting on a large plot of land or your outdoor space is at a premium, how you dedicate that area can provide a return on investment that goes beyond financial. A well-designed outdoor space can serve as an extension of your home, while proper care of your landscaping will keep it flourishing during spring, summer, and even fall. Here are just a few ways to take advantage of the great outdoors to best suit your needs.

Incorporate a Vegetable Garden

Typically requiring a generous outdoor area, vegetable gardens have gained popularity and are relatively easy to execute. Bear in mind not all vegetables are planted at the same time of year, as some, such as lettuces, prefer the cooler weather of late spring and early summer, while others, like tomatoes, thrive during hot August days. You’ll also want to take into consideration the location, as you’ll need plenty of sun as well as an area that drains well, isn’t too windy, and has nutrient-rich soil.

The size of your garden can vary depending on how large of a harvest you’re aiming for, but as a beginner it’s best to start small and expand your repertoire gradually. Choose foods you enjoy eating and watch as you eventually have a cornucopia of fresh veggies.

Herbs are a thoughtful addition to your garden that will enhance the flavors of your vegetable harvest, and many pungent herbs can keep mosquitos at bay.

Plan Your Perennials, Annuals, and Bulbs

Flower beds and bushes add color and beauty to any outdoor design while contributing to a healthy environment by encouraging honeybees, butterflies, and pollination. As with a vegetable garden, there is a right and wrong time to plant flowers depending on what type they are. Annuals need to be replanted each year because their root systems die off in the cold; however, perennials are hearty enough that they regrow each spring or summer. Bulbs are similar and should be planted in the fall for warm weather blooms.

When designing a flower garden, be mindful of how much sunlight each variety needs, as well as what kind of pruning or other maintenance is required. Planting flowers each season should occur after the last frost.

Get Creative with Limited Space

If you have space constraints, there are plenty of ways to spruce up a smaller outdoor area with greenery. Window boxes, planters, hanging baskets, and pots of flowers can offer a wonderful alternative. A small herb garden or tomato plants will also thrive in pots.

By maximizing your greenspace, not only are you investing in your home, but you’ll reap the benefits of fresh air, sunshine, and the natural rewards of whatever it is you choose to plant. The annual Farmer’s Almanac is an excellent resource for gardeners whether you’re a vegetation expert or just getting started.

woman planting herbs

Written by Angie Sell