Creating a Garden

There are a few steps to think about when planning a garden. First pick the best location for your garden whether it is a flower or vegetable garden. Consider the amount of sunlight and moisture, the grade (flat or sloping) of your location, and the climate, rainfall and temperature for your area.

A raised bed is easier to maintain. You will have to do less bending and you won't compact the soil from walking on it.

Next, you will want to plan what type of garden you want. Will it be informal, formal, cottage, vegetable, etc. Choose plants according to height, bloom time, and colors. Do not overload your garden. Your plants will grow and spread. When you have planned your garden, gather tools, mark out your space, and remove any grass or ground cover. When choosing tools, be sure to use good quality tools. A shovel with a good blade will remove and cut through soil easier than a dull blade. Any grass you remove can be put in your compost bin to improve your soil for next year. Now the fun part, shopping for your plants.

Make a list of plants that are suited to your space. There are several websites that can help you find plants based on plant type, light, height, and hardiness zone. Try Better Homes and Gardens or Fine Gardening.Planting time.

Dig a hole twice as big as the pot in diameter, but not deeper than the pot. Use the soil you dig from the hole to fill in around your plant. Adding enriched soil may inhibit the roots from growing outside the area you dug.After you have planted your garden, now comes the maintenance to keep it looking and growing great.

Use 2 -3 inches of mulch to help keep the weeds under control and to assist in maintaining moisture. Organic mulches such as straw, shredded bark, cocoa hulls etc. breaks down and gradually improves your soil. Pull weeds before they mature and have an opportunity to spread seeds in your garden. Proper watering will also insure survival of your plants.

During the first year plants need regular watering to become established. You do not need to water everyday. Most plants do best when they are watered deeply and infrequently. Let your water hose run slowly to avoid water running off your plant, instead of in the ground around the plant. Collect water in a barrel to water your garden.