Are you thinking of having a garden? Gardening may seem as easy as digging as a hole, placing the desired plant or seeds in, and watering them. If you want a long-lasting garden, however, planning needs to be done beforehand. A garden doesn’t just have to be a place where vegetables or plants grow; it can be a place of relaxation and the centerpiece of your yard. Gardens done right are conversation starters when neighbors pass by and can be a site for the whole neighborhood to see and appreciate. So, let your green thumb go wild!
What Garden Do You Want?
There are so many varieties of gardens to choose from. There are traditional types like vegetables and flowers to new trends like fairy gardens. So, decide on what type you of garden you want before anything else.
Pick The Right Spot
The location of your garden can make or break your garden’s success. You want your soil to be rich, easy to dig into, and in a leveled area where it can drain properly. The spot should also have an appropriate amount of direct sunlight depending on what your plants need to flourish. Some plants may need shade and others can be fine in partial shade, so do your research! Nearby trees and shrubs should usually be avoided since they can prevent necessary sunlight, moisture, and food. For gardening convenience, try to place your garden near your home and a water supply.
Picking a location in a place where you will see your garden every day will make it easier to monitor, tend to, and the best part – enjoy. Note that this is your garden! It doesn’t have to fit into the traditional rectangle style. Spice up a major outdoor walkway and give your garden some curves, or build the garden of your dreams in the backyard where you relax. Integrating a garden into your landscape will set your yard apart from the rest of the neighborhood.
The Perfect Plan
Now that you have selected the right spot, it is time to execute. When planning the size of your garden, consider how much time you have to garden, how much produce you want if you are planting fruits or vegetables, and how much land you have available. Then, pick the plants you like that will work with the conditions and size of your garden. A good rule of a thumb for green thumbers is the bigger the garden, the more work it takes. So if you are a beginner, consider a smaller garden.
Plants that use a little space but have a high yield are favorable for small gardens, such as lettuce, beans, bell peppers, cucumbers, and tomatoes. Easy annuals to grow include marigolds, cosmos, sunflowers, impatiens, geraniums, and zinnias. Some durable perennials include lamb’s ears, purple coneflowers, pansies, and Russian sage. Once you have your plants picked out, decide where you want to plant them in your garden. An easy way to do this is just to grab a piece of paper and draw your plan out. The sketch will help you determine the location of every plant, the length and spacing of plants and rows, and the time of the season you are aiming to plant them. Make sure to rotate where you put your plants season after season. This will keep your plants from getting harmful diseases.
After planning what is in your garden, think about what you might want around it. You can make the surrounding area as beautiful as the garden itself.
There is landscape dirt that is available for those who need compost, soil, sand, or rocks to fill in and around your garden. Landscape rock prices shouldn’t scare you off from adding rocks to compliment your garden; always be on the look out for landscape rocks for sale. You don’t have to spend a fortune to make your garden beautiful! Having landscaping rocks and dirt around your garden can give your garden a marvelous accent, or a one of a kind walkway.
Create Super Soil
Once you have the area picked out and the plan made, you can officially start by clearing the land. If you have time before gardening season arrives, you could smother your soon-to-be garden area with about 5 layers of newspaper and about 3 inches of compost on top. After about 4 months, the compost and paper will decompose, leaving you with fertile soil ready for planting. If you don’t have 4 months to wait, you can just dig out your garden. But beware! You don’t want your soil to be too dry or too wet; it needs to be just right. The best test to tell if your soil is ready to dig into is if the soil can form a ball in your hand and fall apart when you drop it.
Next, you want to improve the soil with some organic matter. Simply mixing in 2-3 inches of compost will give your garden that extra boost it needs before planting begins. Use your spade to dig 8-12 inches down and turn the soil from the bottom to the top, while incorporating the organic matter. This is called turning the soil, and it only needs to be done once a year, usually in the spring.
Go The Extra Mile
If you give to your garden, it will give back to you! Adding mulch over the soil in your garden can help with keeping moisture in and weeds out. Fertilizing may be necessary too, depending on your type of garden. Keeping your bed organized makes for a successful garden as well. Writing on stones can create a pleasing organic marker for your plants. Having all of your tools in a place nearby the garden is a great idea, too. This way, any weeding or watering can be done in a flash. These little things will make an enormous difference when it comes to your garden’s fertility.
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