How to Plan a Garden

If you’re starting a garden from scratch, the first thing you need to do is add your garden beds to your landscape. You can either till your land and add top soil or you can construct raised beds with wooden frames and use all commercial dirt. Be sure to place your beds in areas of full sun, meaning they get 6 or more hours of sunlight each day and in shady areas for plants that need less sunlight. It’s wise though not to attempt to plant anything in an area that gets no sunlight at all. Most plants will not survive, however you could use container plants and flowers to spruce up that area if needed. They could always be moved into the sun for a few days and receive a little reviving.

Plan a Garden

The next step would be to make sure you have some good gardening tools. A good investment would be a spade. It is a square-headed shovel and is great for digging holes, turning and aerating the soil and the blade makes for a good edging tool. There are a variety of different garden hoes available as well. With each design, their main purpose is weed control. As you come to know the weeds you will be dealing with, a suitable hoe will present itself.

A garden rake is useful for clean-up but it can also help you level your garden bed. Pruners will be needed for gentle shaping and harvesting or deadheading flowering plants. Deadheading is the removal of the dead flowers to encourage more or just to make the plant look a little nicer.

If there are larger bushes and trees in your yard you may also want to invest in some loppers. Which are essentially a larger set of pruners that can cut branches up to 2 inches thick. Lastly, every garden will need to be watered with a long hose. Make sure you buy one long enough to reach every corner of your yard.

The next step would be to decide what to grow in your garden. Once you are aware of what will be planted you can begin to prepare the garden beds. Some plants may need more or less fertilizer than others so make sure you know the specifics of what will be needed and when. But every garden will benefit by adding organic matter to the soil. Adding manures and compost for nitrogen and nutrients contributes to soil aggregation. Buying or preparing some organic mulch to cover the soil after planting will cut back on weeds and also help keep nutrients in the soil throughout the season.

Finally, you would be sowing the seeds or planting the seedlings into the garden. Watering them daily is a must and a perfect time to enjoy your creation and watch it grow. -KATIE FLYNN

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