You don’t need a green thumb to grow your own food—just sun, water and a good layout
How does your garden grow? With some thoughtful planning and expert tips, it’ll yield a bounty of fresh produce. Of course, the benefits of gardening extend far beyond the dinner plate: Research from McMaster University shows it helps maintain physical fitness, boost self-esteem, foster creativity and restore calm. A garden is also a good way to trim your grocery bill, while teaching kids about food and nature. Follow a few simple strategies to plot out a garden and care for it until harvest time—green thumb not required!
Survey your land
How much space can you dedicate to a garden? Keep in mind you should be able to easily reach every corner. Choose a spot with full sunlight, away from shade-giving trees/bushes. Ensure a hose or other water source can comfortably reach desired plot.
Plot it out
Plan straight rows for an in-ground garden (opt for quadrants for raised beds). Using labelled garden stakes, mark rows about half a metre apart to allow you to move freely between rows. A centre row of stepping stones provides easier access for watering and weeding.
Dish the dirt
Check with your local garden centre to determine the right type of soil for your location. Aim for about 15 cm of depth and consider topping with a layer of compost for added nutrients.