By gardening in the home, we transform outdoor spaces into functional and productive areas for our families and reestablish plants and animals after they were displaced by urbanization. Gardening at home involves growing fruit, vegetables, and herbs for personal consumption and creating an aesthetic space and a habitat for birds and insects with attractive flower beds.
The art of gardening requires gardening knowledge, ongoing care of plants, maintenance skills, and constant improvement. It turns out that there are many other reasons why home gardening is increasing in popularity as well. Many people choose home gardening as a hobby – that is why they got into the garden in the first place. Home gardening is a way for many people to go green and to eat organic foods. In this way, you will provide your family and loved ones with fresh, healthy vegetables.
Home Gardening in the USA
The Best Way to Grow a Garden at Home In the USA
Determine Your Climate Zone
It is all about placing the right plant at the right time in the right place in gardening to achieve success. First, you must understand the types of crops suitable to your climatic region and when they are planted. According to the USDA, 13 hardiness zones are mapped by ZIP code based on the average annual minimum temperature. Find your hardiness zone and learn about the fruits, vegetables, flowers, and herbs that thrive there (if you live outside of the United States, consult international hardiness zone maps).
Once you know your climate zone, look up the estimated days of your first and last frosts so you can figure out how long it will be until spring. Now, you can identify hardiness zones when you go to your local garden center. Seed packets often specify how many days it takes to mature, so make sure you compare that with the growing season.
Decide What to Grow
Determine which plants you’d like to grow based on your preferences and climate zone. What do you prefer: flowers, vegetables, herbs, or a combination of several options? Plan your garden according to the fruits and vegetables you enjoy eating. Don’t forget to take into account how much space you have for gardening at home. In a small garden, it is best to avoid large plants.
Choose a Suitable Garden Location
The majority of flowers and vegetables need a lot of direct sunlight, so pick an area that receives enough full sunlight for what you are growing. In addition, plants will grow more easily on flat ground next to a structure that provides shelter from the wind. Acquire essential gardening tools: Start your garden with a sturdy shovel and gloves.
At the very least, you may also need other tools of the trade: a potting soil scoop to fill planters and pots quickly, a kitchen knife for precise cutting when harvesting vegetables, and a cordless drill for drilling drainage holes. In addition, a Hori tool for dividing roots and cutting stems up to a half-inch in diameter can be helpful when converting found objects into planters. A pruning saw for accessing tight spaces is also available.
Test Your Soil
If you’re interested in starting a garden, the USDA cooperative extension service offers soil tests. Your garden soil analysis will not only determine the proportion of clay, sand, silt, and organic matter but will also determine whether or not you have deficiencies in nutrients. In addition, we will provide you with recommendations for rebalancing soil nutrients.
Finally, request that a soil test looks for toxic materials, such as lead or arsenic. If the soil contains toxins above acceptable levels, do not plant edible plants. Instead, growing food in wooden raised beds with a barrier on the bottom prevents roots from reaching the ground below.
Make Your Garden Bed
Clearing the existing vegetation is the first step to creating a garden bed. To remove weeds, pull them manually. You need to ensure you get the roots so they do not resprout. Using a sod cutter for removing grass is an option if you’re starting from scratch. Once your plating surface is ready, you’ll have to prepare it. It’s best not to till unless necessary; Digging can disrupt subsoil life (including worms, beetles, and bacteria), which is not ideal.
If you don’t want to till the soil, take the grass and debris off first, and then spread four inches of compost over the growing area. In the case of particularly stubborn weeds, you can also use sheet mulching or cardboard to compost weeds while at the same time preserving soil structure. Creating beds no more expansive than four feet is the best way to avoid the compaction of soft soil and undo all your hard work.
Choose Whether to Transplant Seedlings or Grow Them from Seed
Despite its potential to save money, seed starting can be time-consuming and can come with unexpected bumps. It can take a long time for plants to mature into healthy, outdoor-ready plants from stubborn seeds. You can also buy young plants grown in a greenhouse at your local nursery. Vigorous plants, but “root bound,” often outgrow their pots and perform poorly in the garden. As a result of their dense roots underneath the soil, the plants are not adaptable.
Handle Your Seeds and Seedlings Carefully
To plant seeds, make sure you plant them at the correct depth, tamp the soil firmly over them, and water them when the soil on the surface dries out. Put your hand between your fingers on the soil while placing the seedling’s stem when planting seedlings. Take care not to break the pot. Gently squeeze it on all sides.
Next, grab the soil mass and slowly massage it until the roots no longer adhere to the pot. You will have to massage the plant vigorously, possibly even using a knife to loosen the mat of roots if it is root-bound. Finally, create a hole in the soil that is no bigger than the root mass with your hands or a small trowel. Plant the root system in the ground, cover the roots with soil (but do not cover any of the stems), and press down firmly.
Watering plants during the growing season typically require one inch of water per week. Make sure you’re providing sufficient water if there hasn’t been any rain. Stick your finger into the soil two inches deep to check if plants are thirsty. Whether it feels dry or not, you should water your plants. Keep in mind that most plants prefer a little bit of moisture over a wet bag of water. Watering too much may damage roots. When you water, you want the soil to be moist but not soggy.
Use Mulch Liberally
Weeds cannot germinate when soil is covered with rocks (which can retain moisture and warmth) and organic matter. However, as mulch decays, it becomes fuel for soil food webs inhabited by worms and other beneficial organisms. Therefore, it’s crucial to match the right mulch type to the correct crop. For example, plants that require long-lived nutrients, such as fruit trees, shrubs, and perennial flowers, benefit from wood chips. On the other hand, it is better to mulch delicate vegetables with straw or leaves than heavy mulch.
Take Care of Your Garden
Gardens require regular maintenance at different times of the year. It’s all about keeping the weeds out in spring. Watering the garden properly in summer requires extra vigilance. Autumn is a time for cutting back and cleaning up. Watch what your plants say during the growing season. When a leaf becomes yellow or deformed, it needs to be removed. Staking is essential for plants collapsing under their weight. Overgrown vegetation is necessary to allow sunlight and fresh air to circulate.
The Most Popular Houseplants In the USA
Although Boston ferns are among the easiest ferns to grow, it doesn’t mean they’re a hassle-free addition to an indoor garden. Ferns grow naturally in high-humidity areas, such as rainforests and marshes, so they require adequate humidity indoors, especially in winter. Therefore, constantly water your plants regularly. Direct sunlight will scorch Boston fern leaves, but indirect sunlight is best. With proper care, Boston ferns can produce large, thick foliage known as fronds, which is the formal name for their long, compound leaves.
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In addition to the stunning Prayer plant, a common name for Maranta leuconeura, another plant that caused controversy on social media is the Maranta orchid. Prayer plants are known for their beautiful patterns atop their oval leaves and how their leaves reach the sun during the day but droop at night. Prayer Plants, Zebra plants Rattlesnake plants (two varieties of Calathea), and Oxalis (also known as Shamrock) also have stunning responses to sunlight, which gardeners can observe. In addition, there are Prayer plants available at many garden centers.
While Americans raised monstera plants before the advent of Instagram, the large houseplant reached new heights of popularity after social media users began to share pictures of them with the hashtag monster. There are several varieties of monstera; the most common one found in domestic settings is Monstera deliciosa. Monstera grows best in high-humidity conditions and should be protected from direct sunlight, as too much sun will cause the leaves to burn. Vining plants may need to be staked or pruned periodically as they grow.
The philodendron is a low-maintenance plant that is sometimes confused for pothos. The plants effectively purify indoor air, but they can cause mild poisoning to pets if eaten. From jade green to dark green with flecks of silver to dark green and chartreuse, these vining plants can be trained over walls and trellises or allowed to flow freely from hanging baskets. It’s possible to purchase plants from online retailers like The Sill if you’re looking for color options unavailable at local garden centers.
Pilea may not be as well-known as some other plants, but thanks to recent appearances on gardening blogs and Instagram channels, there has been an increased demand for the plant at some trendy garden centers. However, the plant is in short supply sometimes. If properly cared for, the leaves begin to grow much more significant and rounder, similar to a silver dollar. If you have access to a pile, avoid overwatering. If you want your plant to remain healthy, allow the soil to dry out between waterings (watch for drooping leaves).
Money trees are believed to bring good luck to every household they grow in, like jade. The money tree, or Pachira Aquatica, usually consists of several plants woven together into a braided trunk. A high-humidity environment with bright indirect light is ideal for this plant. To create ideal growing conditions, spray a fine mist of water on the leaves in the early morning before the sun is bright enough to burn leaves. Alternatively, you can place your money tree on top of a shallow decorative tray filled with water and rocks; the water in the tray will evaporate as it evaporates, giving water to your money tree.
While many air plants attach themselves to a host tree rather than taking root in the soil, tillandsia has become synonymous with the category. A steady stream of natural light and deep soaking is required for these spindly, claw-shaped plants, often displayed in a dish or glass globe. When watering tillandsia, place the plant in a bowl and pour water over it until the leaves are submerged. It is also a good idea to mist air plants occasionally. Watering your plants with tap water is acceptable, but you may want to let the water sit for several hours first to allow the chlorine to dissipate.
Snake plants can endure almost any horrible growth condition except prolonged overwatering, which will cause root rot. In addition to the many varieties of snake plants, as seen on Instagram, the whale fin snake plant has recently surged in popularity due to its large photogenic leaves. Despite certain varieties of sansevieria becoming more popular, they are not yet available in every garden center. Purchasing varieties like whale fin snake plants online is a good alternative if you cannot find them locally.
Jade is one of the most popular succulents in American households, but many Western cultivators are unaware of its reputation for good luck. Jade, also known as the Money Plant in Chinese Feng Shui, attracts homes and businesses. In addition to its hardiness and speedy growth, the jade plant has a dramatic structural habit and will appeal to most home gardeners, regardless of their philosophical beliefs.
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The spider plant is a very popular houseplant in America for more than one reason. In addition to being easy to handle, they are tolerant of neglect and abuse. The spider plant is becoming a popular houseplant not just because of its reputation as a low-maintenance plant but because it is constantly producing “babies” that can be potted and gifted to friends and neighbors.
Pothos is one of the most popular plants in American indoor gardens due to its extreme hardiness. Plants that grow in low or bright light can thrive- its constant growth could be why this plant has earned its nickname, Devil’s ivy. The pothos plant comes in various colors, from jade green to chartreuse to creamy white, and all varieties are easy to cultivate.
Best Place to Build a Home Garden in the United States
Gardeners should consider where in America is the best for growing what they want to grow. In Florida and Arizona, citrus fruits are abundant, while California grows the majority of the nation’s commercial produce. Midwest farms are known for their grass-fed beef, grains, and vegetables. The only places that are not ideal for gardening in America are Death Valley, the tops of the Rocky Mountains, and swampy areas in the South.
In the summer is filled with almost 24 hours of sunshine, making it ideal for growing excellent season vegetables. Anchorage Daily News reports that it holds the record for the world’s most giant cabbage, which weighed over 125 pounds—approximately five feet in diameter. Also, from New Mexico, the world’s heaviest carrot weighed 18 pounds, and the world’s giant rutabaga weighed over 82 pounds.
California is the best place to grow apples, pears, peaches, grapes, and oranges. Based on Consumers Union data, it is the leading producer of those five fruits. However, New York is a top producer of apples, grapes, pears, and peaches, Georgia is a top producer of peaches, and Florida is a top producer of oranges.
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Based on USDA Economic Research Service statistics, California, Idaho, Washington, Wisconsin, and Florida have the best vegetable production. Idaho and Wisconsin dominate potato production, while California produces 60 percent of the nation’s fresh and processed vegetables. Therefore, these five states are the best locations to plant a vegetable garden.
If you like gardening year-round, you will be better off picking a region that does not have cold winters. In December, even tomatoes ripen in the Arizona desert, Florida, California, Texas, and the Deep South. These are regions that can produce two cool-season crops each year. Most crops are planted in January, and the second is seeded in August. Moreover, vegetable crops can be grown from April through the beginning of winter.
Consider tropical plants such as bananas, mangoes, pineapples, guavas, or pineapples to be favorite plants. Florida and Hawaii are the best places to grow fruits because their climates are similar to those of the fruits’ native areas. Hawaiian pineapples are especially popular. Arizona and south Texas enjoy warm temperatures but receive little rain for tropical plants to thrive. To get the best results, you’ll have to supplement the little rainfall with plenty of water.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on Home Gardening in the USA
How Many Households in the USA Have Gardens?
Approximately 25% of households in the U.S. grow their food. Americans garden at 23% in the West, 26% in the Midwest, 22% in the Northeast, and 29% in the South.
Which Vegetable is Most Commonly Grown In the USA?
Most Americans grow tomatoes in their gardens, with 86% growing gardens. The highest percentage of gardens have cucumbers, followed by 46% of gardens with sweet peppers.
How Much Money Does the United States Spend on Gardening?
The total amount spent on gardening in the United States is 2.5 billion dollars. The average garden produces $600 in produce each year, less the average household’s expenditure of $70.00. Therefore, the garden produces $530 in return every year for the average household.
How Big is the Average Garden in the United States?
The average 96-square-foot vegetable garden in America is more significant than 600 square feet. Ninety-six feet is twelve feet by eight feet.
What Is the Most Popular Plant in the United States?
It is estimated that 11 states are searching for aloe plants the most, making it the most popular house plant in the U.S. Coming in second place is the snake plant because of its fascinating snake-patterned leaves.
Is It Necessary for us to Have a Home Garden?
Gardening provides an opportunity to contribute positively to the environment. The roots of garden plants hold the soil in place, thereby reducing soil erosion. Your home garden is more likely to be erosion-free if you mulch around the plants. Thus, home gardens contribute to more than human well-being.
What is the Best State for Gardening at Home in the United States?
Florida, Texas, Ohio, New York, North Carolina, California, Pennsylvania
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