In this section you will learn all about preparing your gardens as well as maintaining them after they've been planting.
These two topics are important to get right. Do them wrong and your plants may struggle and possibly not survive.
Here's a synopsis of this section to help you find the information you need
This section is divided into two sub-topics, each of which is necessary to give you a nice looking and well planted garden. The first topic is "Garden Bed Preperation," which includes the initial preparing of the garden design, followed by the preperation of the bed for planting. The section topic is all about "Garden Maintenance," that is, how do you maintain what you've planted.
Exploring articles within each of these two sub-topics will give you a lot of advice from professionals but in the meantime, let us tell you a little more about each section and why they are important.
Garden Bed Preperation:
This sub-topic includes the initial planning stage, which is the design of your garden, plus preparing the garden bed for plants.
Let's look into garden design first.
Designing The Garden:
If you are redoing an existing garden, or if you're designing an entirely new garden space, one that you are transforming from another use, then the very first thing you need to do is to create a garden design.
This garden design is your beginning road map of ideas. To get a professional look, when designing your garden you should consider of a number of different aspects. Those are:
What shape will your garden be? As you may know from other advice we've mentioned on this site, it's always good to have curved bedlines, but other than that, what else do you need?
Actually, while there are typical design principles used by professionals which are covered elsewhere on this site, we want you to know it's OK to use your creative freedom too. Know the pro design techniques but feel free to adopt them to your own style.
That being said, some common garden shapes include the "teardrop" as well as the "kidney" shaped garden. These work well if your garden space is in the middle of your yard or elsewhere in the open - not bordered on one side by a wall.
If your garden is a foundation garden surrounding one or two sides of the house, then creating bedlines that curve throughout its length is the generally accepted method. Usually, bedlines curve out and around larger shrubs or trees, and then curve back in around smaller shrubs or flowers.
Look at examples of professionally designed gardens, either via images online or by driving around and you'll see what we mean.
The garden's size will be determined by the space in which you want to put it or possibly the plants you want to include.
Indeed, if you have some plants in mind, you might find out they will not fit in the size garden you want. You would then have to change your plant choice or increase the size of your garden to accomodate the plants.
This means that figuring out the size of the garden goes hand in hand with selecting which plants you'll want to include.
Will your garden include things such as a trellis, waterfall or pond, stepping stones, a rock wall, bench or any other items?
We like the look of these types of hardscapes. They add variety to a garden that would normally have only living plants, especially a sitting area, which makes the garden space very inviting to humans that want to relax in the spendor.
You'll want to figure out where these hardscapes will be placed in the overall space.
Sections Of Plants:
Unless you're planting a "native garden," one that's planted in a haphazard fashion to mimic the randomness of nature, you'll want to designate sections of your garden for groupings of plants.
For instance, you might want an ornamental tree. If so, decide where that will go. Will it be in the center of a rounded garden? Off to one side? Will it be in the corner of a foundation garden surrounding the house?
Next you'll probably want to include some shrubs of various sizes colors and textures. Decide which areas of the garden you'll want to put each type - usually larger shrubs in the back and smaller shrubs to the front.
Finally you'll want to include flowers - whether annuals or perennials or a little of both. Again, designate areas in your garden devoted to each variety of plant.
All of these pieces make up the whole garden.
Here's an example of what we are talking about:
Preparing The Garden Beds For Planting:
Important: Preparing your garden beds correctly is essential for healthy plants.
Almost always, the native soil found your home's plot of land is not sufficient to support gardens and the plants that go in them. Builders generally do not replace native soil with nutrient rich soil. Therefore, it's up to you to do this.
This includes adding soil ammendments that will add the nutrients that the plants need, and the proper fertilizer to give your plants a boost. Read the articles devoted to those topics to find out more.
As I'm sure you know, you cannot just plant a garden and then leave it to it's own devices. That will not work.
Obviously planting a garden is a commitment. You must commit to maintaining it, lest it be taken over by weeds, debris, pests and other natural enemies of healthy plants.
Once the garden has been designed, the beds prepared, and the plants stuck in the ground, now comes the maintenance.
Garden maintenance is probably one of the big reasons people don't want to deal with gardening. We admit, it's a valid point.
From weeding and trimming to muclching and fertilizing, sometimes the chores seem daunting. However, there are things you can do to help make your garden low maintenance. Read the posing about that HERE.
One way or another, garden maintenance must happen.
Explore each section and learn what you need to do to create garden spaces around your home that you can be pround of.
Yes, you too can become your own garden master.