August 08, 2021

Essential Steps in Creating Your Own Backyard Garden

If you’re still looking for a hobby during the lockdown, gardening is a great choice. Tending to your plants and trees has various physical and mental health benefits, according to a recent study from the Preventative Medicine Reports Journal. The researchers analyzed studies that linked gardening to possible health outcomes. 

They found that gardening reduces anxiety and depression symptoms, enhances fitness, and improves overall quality of life. 

With the right knowledge and equipment, you can turn your backyard in Sentosa into a beautiful and thriving garden. Here’s how to start your plant sanctuary.


Identify the Plants You Want to Grow

What’s great about gardening is that your options for what you want to grow are nearly endless. You can create an herb garden, a flower garden, a fruits and vegetable garden, or a mix of all of them! 

Head to your nearest gardening shop or online store and browse through their catalog to see which kinds of plants you’d like to grow. Consider the size and special requirements of plants you’d like to grow, too. 

If the allocated space is small, you may want to steer clear of large plants like palm or fiddle leaf fig. Vines that need stilts for support may not be ideal for small gardens as well. 


Acquire the Necessary Equipment and Materials

Once you have a list of plants you’d like to grow, it’s time to buy the equipment and materials needed to plant and maintain them. Here are the essentials.

    • Gloves — A good pair of work gloves protect your hands from splinters and other wounds that you may encounter while gardening.
    • Shovel, trowel, fork, and spade — These are tools that you use for digging into soil. The shovel is great for digging large holes. A trowel is for taking out weeds and transplanting herbs. You use a spade for digging small holes. A fork is for digging into dense and compacted soil.


  • Hoe — You use this tool to cultivate your soil and chop off any weeds.
  • Garden hose or watering can — You use these tools to water your plants efficiently. If you have a small garden, a watering can will do the job. However, if you have a large garden, you can save time by using a hose that can spray water onto different parts of your garden with ease.


    • Rake — This helps you tidy up your garden by whisking away loose leaves and other debris.


  • Organic compost — You use this to enrich your soil and get it ready for growing plants.



Prepare the Soil Bed

Now that you have the necessary tools, it’s time to prepare your soil for planting. Get rid of weeds and sod using your hoe and trowel. Spread a four-inch-thick layer of compost on the earth. Wait for about three to four months before testing your soil or planting anything to let the compost decompose into the soil. 


Test Your Soil

The growth and health of your plants rely significantly on the potential of hydrogen (pH) in your soil. This is a scale from 0 to 14 that determines whether your soil is acidic or basic. The lower the number, the more acidic your soil is. Some plants thrive in acidic soil. Others prefer having a neutral PH. 

Buy a soil tester and use it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Once you have a reading, go back to your list of plants. Check their specifications to see which soil pH they thrive in best. Adjust your soil pH accordingly. 

If you need to make your soil less acidic, add some agricultural limestone. Add aluminum sulfate or sulfur to your soil if you need to make it more acidic.


Carefully Plant Your Seeds

Once you have prepared and tested your soil, it’s time to plant your seeds. The packaging should have directions about how deep you should plant each seed. Search online if the packet doesn’t have any instructions. Once you’ve planted the seed, cover it with soil and compact it firmly with your hand. Water it whenever the soil’s surface dries up. 


Water Them Properly

An easy way to find out if your plants need watering is to stick a finger about two inches deep into the soil. If it feels damp, it’s still good for another day. If it feels dry, however, you need to top it up with water. You want the soil to be moist, not soaking wet. Overwatering can cause root rot, which can kill the plant.

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