DIY Spring Garden Projects You’ll Love
Just like that spring has sprung. Buds are sprouting on trees, flowers are starting to bloom and the project list for the yard is getting longer by the day. So, if you’re spending a lot of time at home right now, set your garden goals high. Even if your thumb hasn’t been particularly green in the past, this is the year to give it your all!
Here are some fun and creative garden projects to dig into this spring season.
Create Your Own Raised Beds
A raised garden bed is a great way to set yourself up for success, especially if you’re a beginning gardener.
- They’re easier to prep year after year. At the start of the new season, you simply add your choice of topsoil and compost to top off the bed and water it down before planting.
- Weeds have a harder time infiltrating a raised garden bed and so do animals! You can add a weed barrier to the bottom of the garden box to help slow weed growth. As for animals, raised beds help deter most critters from blithely waltzing through your fruit and vegetable lanes. And, if you notice that intruders are getting in, you can easily construct a small fence around the box to deter them.
- Raised beds have better drainage which is always good news for the health of your plants.
- Raised garden beds are not permanent structures! Sure, it’s not always easy to move them, but it is possible when necessary. If you move to a new home you can take the materials with you. Or if you become such an avid gardener that you’d like to expand, the modular nature of raised beds makes it entirely possible if space allows..
So, how do you get started?
First, decide how big you want your garden bed to be. Most experienced raised bed gardeners recommend a height of about 12-18 inches. As for the length and width, that really depends on how much you want to plant and how much growing room your plants require. For example, squash takes up a lot of room in a raised bed but a bundle of romaine lettuce requires much less space.
Here are a few recommendations on lumber sizes.
You’ll begin by screwing the pieces of lumber together, 2x6 or 2x8s are good sizes to browse. You can decide if you want to stack two or three high and how long you want the bed to be. Here are step-by-step instructions from Lowe’s on how to put the frame together.
Place the box in an area that gets as much sunlight as possible (this will also depend on how many hours of sunlight your plants need). Fill the box with a few small rocks to aid in the drainage. Then, add in a mixture of topsoil and compost. Be sure to break up any large chunks of dirt and evenly fill the bed a few inches from the top. Wet the soil and you’re ready to begin planting! Strawberries are the most popular fruit for a home garden and they're also one of the easiest and most rewarding crops. It’s our favorite and we love the fresh, juicy flavor of sun-warmed strawberries picked straight from the garden.
At the end of the day, you’re going to end up with dirty, dry hands and possibly a few broken nails. What can you do to protect your hands and nails?
First, be sure to use a nail strengthener year-round to protect your natural nails. With Nail Magic’s Botanical Nail Strengthener, you can maintain healthy, natural nails that can take a lot of the punishment that comes with gardening. Add extra protection with Vanilla Almond Cuticle Oil, and you’ll have strong nails and healthy cuticles.
Next, purchase a pair of gardening gloves! You can find a great selection in the gardening department of stores like Home Depot. Gloves will help protect your hands from splinters in mulch and prickers in weeds, and prevent dirt from finding its way under your fingernails.
Lastly, there are a few essential tools to help make gardening a little easier on your hands and nails. Check out this list from Garden Design to create your own basic gardening tool kit.
Start an Herb Garden
Herb gardening is an excellent spring gardening activity that you can begin indoors and, once the herbs germinate, move outdoors.
Many herbs -Mint, Rosemary, Sage, and Chives, for example - are relatively easy to grow and are perennial. Perennials are awesome because the time and effort you invest in your green, leafy babies this year will generate returns the following year. It’s one thing to enjoy the fruits of your labors in your first season, but it’s totally satisfying to see all that work rewarded year after year with far less effort.
To begin, you must decide which herbs are most important to you. There are herbs that you can cook with, herbs that help other plants in the garden grow, and even some with medicinal benefits. Here are a few perennial herbs that you may want to consider.
- Parsley - a classic herb that is sometimes slow to start, but is excellent for harvesting and then drying.
- Basil - growing basil near your tomato plants helps deter common bugs that can be harmful to the plants.
- Chives - there are several varieties and they all grow fairly quickly and even flower.
- Mint - be wary. mint can grow quite rapidly and crowd out other herbs, but peppermint also can keep mosquitos away.
- Cilantro - this herb germinates well, grows large, and produces a lot of delicious flavor.
- Rosemary - this flavorful herb is perfect for topping off sauces and roasted meats.
- Oregano - the perfect addition to any pizza or pasta sauce, this herb is very easy to grow.
- Thyme - an excellent choice if you have a good amount of space. Thyme grows like ground cover and sprouts small flowers as well.
- Lavender - this popular herb can be used for cooking or dried for decoration.
Find more herbs here from Country Living. Harvesting your herbs will take time, some work, and a lot of patience. Be sure to brush up on the best ways to handle each plant for optimal results.
After a good day of herb gardening, you’ll definitely want to moisturize and pamper your hands and nails. A bottle of Thai Essence Hand & Cuticle Oil will do just the trick. You only need to massage one drop on each cuticle before bed. You’ll wake up with softer hands and rehydrated cuticles that are ready to get back to your plants!
Make Your Own Compost
Complement your gardening adventures by making your own compost. Not only is composting part of sustainable living, but composted soil is excellent for your garden beds. Plus, if you have an excess amount you can donate some to local community gardens!
Starting a compost pile is pretty easy and something you definitely want to do outdoors. Designate a corner of your yard for your standalone compost pile or container and you’re ready to begin.
Compost is organic material that can be added to soil to help plants grow and thrive. Think of it as plant food. Organic materials include anything from eggshells and coffee grounds to fruit and vegetable waste and moldy bread. These are rich sources of nitrogen necessary to facilitate the composting process, and there are many more. Here is a reference of items that can and cannot be composted. Begin with a thick layer of dirt, leaves, and twigs. Then, begin to add compostable material. Keep it covered and moist and schedule time to turn over the compost with a shovel or pitchfork. Turning the compost materials helps aerate the pile which is a part of the process.
Composting is a great way to help the environment, reduce landfill waste, and provide you with excellent soil for your garden. Composting does mean getting your hands dirty. That’s ok, as long as you’re taking care of your nails and cuticles. Nail Magic products make it easy to retain strong, natural nails that can withstand all the creative and satisfying work it takes to maintain a healthy garden. Keep a supply of Botanical Nail Strengthener with Horsetail on hand and you’ll be good to go. It’s easy to apply, provides instant support, and is free of toluene, formaldehyde, and DBP.
What Gardening Projects Are You Working On?
Now is the perfect time to start your spring and summer gardening projects. Whether you’re building raised beds, starting an herb garden, or beginning a compost, you’ll be reaping the rewards of your work in no time at all!