10 Steps for Starting a New Garden

Where do I start?

I read this post on a gardening Facebook page Hello! First time for me with everything here. First post. First garden. I'm just new on all fronts. I'm moving to a new build in Meridian. The soil was most likely corn crops in it's previous life. I'm wondering what is the easiest/cheapest rout to creating the best balance of organic fertile soil without buying a million bags from the store.

Here are my thoughts......

10 Steps to Starting a New Garden
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  1. Get a soil test, contact your local county extension agent. https://www.uidaho.edu/extension/county/ada/horticulture/services
  2. Drive around or walk the neighborhood and check out the yards you like, make notes or take pictures.
    1. Check out yards that look pretty in your neighborhood, and talk to the gardeners.
    2. Gardeners love to share and talk about their garden, their successes, their failures.
    3. Stay within a mile or two radius of your property. Soils and microclimates can change quickly as you venture farther away.
  3. Decide how the garden will be watered. Water is precious and SW Idaho gardens must be irrigated in the summer.
    1. Overhead sprinklers can be inefficient
    2. Drip lines or soakers hoses are the best
    3. City water is expensive-so maybe plan for a drought-tolerant garden?
    4. Dragging hoses every day to your garden will tire you out quickly!
  4. Make a Pinterest board or a dream list for your garden.
  5. Decide on how many hours you can realistically spend on maintaining a garden
    1. Most gardeners are over-optimistic about how much time they have to spend gardening
    2. Remember, when the 90+ F temperatures hit, it is really tough to get outside and work.
  6. Make a financial budget, how much can you spend on building the garden this year.? Some items may have to wait for a few years.
  7. Join a local garden club or a community garden or take a gardening class with a local nursery, Idaho Botanical Garden, Native Plant Society, Boise Community Ed https://northend.org/community-gardens/ . https://www.gcii.org/
  8. Fall is a wonderful time to start planning for a garden. Take this time to do some reading from experts in their field.
  9. Gather up all the leaves you can this fall- beg, borrow and get some from the neighbors and start a compost pile. https://permaculturenews.org/2018/11/17/useful-garden-projects-for-autumn-leaves/
  10. Mark out your area that you expect will be your garden spot and see how many hours of sun the location receives in a day.

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