The Best Tips for First Time Gardeners from 55+ Communities in Texas

Ready to get your hands dirty this season?

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Gardening is a great activity for all ages and is the perfect way to get outside and get active this summer. From increasing physical activity to providing various mental health benefits, gardening is one of our favorite ways to be active. Luckily for residents of our Texas retirement living communities, we have community gardens to get their hands dirty in!

While we love helping and encouraging our residents to make use of these community gardens, we know some of you might be starting a garden on your own. That is why our expert team has compiled our top 5 tips for first-time gardeners. Keep reading to learn more!

1. Pick a Spot with Ample Sunlight

Anyone who has started a garden knows that one of the most important factors when choosing where to find a spot with ample sunlight. No matter the type of garden you’re starting, from an in-ground garden and raised beds to windowsill herb gardens, making sure your chosen spot has ample sunlight throughout the day is crucial. Before deciding on your garden’s permanent location, observe your surroundings for a few days and track which portions of your yard or outdoor living space receive the most sun throughout the day. Doing a little research beforehand will help eliminate the chances of a failed garden.

2. Choose Crops that Grow Well in Your Area

The second tip we find helps first-time gardeners is to research what grows well in your climate. While many plants can do well across a wide expanse of the country, it is important to note that your climate might not be conducive to specific ones. This is especially true for areas with shorter growth periods, higher temperatures, or drier climates. If you are unsure of which species of plants will do well in your area, we recommend checking out this online guide!

3. Have Water Readily Available

Another key factor in the success of your garden is making sure your plants have the right amount of water. That is why it is crucial to make sure the location you choose is close to a spigot or close enough to your living space that you can easily carry a watering can (or two) there and back. As simple as this might sound, it is important to the overall success of your garden. So be sure you keep it in mind when starting out!

4. Grow What You Will Eat

Another tip we have for those first-time gardeners looking to grow produce is to grow something you actually like! As tempting as it may be to plant fun and unique fruits, vegetables, and herbs, if you won’t eat it, that food will likely go to waste. Since we are of the mindset of minimizing food waste, we highly suggest only growing crops you or your family will consume. Don’t love tomatoes? Try a zucchini plant instead! Do you find your berries go to waste in the fridge, but you’re always running out of watermelon? Consider doing a quick inventory of what items you actually consume and start planning your produce garden from there.

5. Work According to Your Zone

Similarly to knowing what plants work well in your area, you will also want to adhere to your planting zone. This will help first-time (and veteran) gardeners know what time of year they need to plant, and will also prevent planting too early or too late. If you are unsure of your planting zone, we highly recommend using this online zone finder to determine which zone you are in!

We can’t wait to see what our residents plant in our community gardens this season! For more information on all of our amazing Texas senior living communities, or to schedule a tour, contact our friendly team today.

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