Tips to Start or Expand Your Garden and Make it Thrive

Seeds are a cost-effective way to start or expand a colorful, eclectic garden.

(StatePoint) Starting a garden for the first time or expanding an existing plot is easier than you may think. With a little love and care, your green space will bloom and thrive.

“For anyone with the inclination, a beautiful lawn and garden is always within reach,” says Jamie Briggs, director of marketing, Exmark, a leading manufacturer of commercial mowers and equipment for landscape professionals and homeowners with a lot of lawn to cut.

This is the driving idea behind “Backyard Smart,” a free online video series. These short explainer videos are full of facts and relevant information to answer your most common lawn and garden questions. The following planting strategies come directly from two recent “Backyard Smart” episodes:

• Start With Seeds: Looking to add new plants to your garden and flower bed? Try starting from scratch. While most nurseries have limited species of mature plants to select from, there are literally thousands of varieties of seeds available at dirt cheap prices. A quick trip to the seed kiosk in your local hardware store offers the potential for you to enjoy flowers you’ve never seen and vegetables you’ve never tasted.

“It’s easy to be intimidated by the prospect of growing plants from seeds but the truth is that all you need is soil, just the right amount of water and lots of sunshine,” says Briggs. “Nature will handle the rest.”

• Practice “Companion Planting”: Whether it’s growing marigolds alongside tomatoes to block bad bugs or planting corn next so squash to provide shade, plants are kind of like people, they do better with a buddy. Companion plants help block weeds, prevent pests, create fertile soil, promote pollination and offer plants a place to climb. In fact, people have been practicing this technique for centuries to create vigorous gardens.

For more entertaining, easy-to-understand approaches to making the most of your outdoor spaces, check out the Exmark Backyard Life site at exmark.com/backyard.

If you’ve always dreamed of having your own, homegrown, fruits and vegetables in your cooking, or brightening your home with fresh-cut flowers, there is no better time than the present to pursue this dream. The long sunshiny days of summer are ideal for developing your green thumb.

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