Let me ask you a question. When you think about your flowers, shrubs and your planting beds, and you think about redoing them or replanting them, do you think about which plants you want to use? Of course. Do you think about how much they are going to cost? Naturally.
Now answer this… “Do you think about what's in the gound - the soil?”
Many people we know and the clients we serve always think about the plants first and which ones they want to use. This is all well and good. The problem with that is sometimes they don't think about the actual planting beds and the soil that goes in them at all.
This is a big mistake.
One of the first things you should think about is the quality of your soil. This can make all the difference in the success or failure of your gardens.
Again, and just saying, when our clients have problems in their gardens, they rarely think of the soil as being the one problem in the potential list of problems.
Maybe it's overwatered. Maybe it's too dry. Too little sun? Could be. Too much sun? Also a possibility. Maybe it’s been infested with scale or insects? Interestingly the soil never comes up.
We want to tell you that when you’re planting your beds, your soil is equally as important as the plants you choose. That, my friend, is the purpose of this section of the Garden Masterz website, to educate you on the ground underneath your plants.
What’s Under The Ground?
Plants need certain nutrients to survive and grow vigorously and the nutrients come from the sun, the air and the soil. The only one we have control over is the soil, so it's important we do what we can underground to help the plants get what they need.
We have information in this section regarding these nutrients and how to get the correct ones in your soil. Click here to read that article now.
You might also know that fertilizer is a good way to give plants a boost. But which ones to choose? We know it's overwhelming. Just looking at the shelves in your garden center could make you run for the hills.
Let us stop the chaos now. Don't run. Instead, read this article here about fertilizers.
In addition there will be many more articles in this section you will want to read to optimize the soil quality in your gardens and there's no doubt, this information is helpful to know. However, the easiest thing you can do is to follow our simple system of enriching the soil when we do new installations or even planting annuals every year... and guess what, we have an article that covers that too!
You can read that article here and be sure to check back often as we continue to add information, including videos of that exact method in action.
How To Plant A Flower Bed Tips
If you clicked on the last article above, you will have read how to prepare a bed for planting. That IS our system.
In addition there is much more information in this section right now and there will be even more later because planting beds are one of the most important things that contribute to the overall health of the plants within them.
Even though this sounds important, which it is, it's not difficult. It's easy if you follow our system. It works. We've used it for over 20 years over countless installations and it works!
Now, a word of warning from our sponsers... kidding!
You may hear other advice that recommends getting the soil tested before planting. We want to say we don't think it's necessary unless there are problems that creep up later.
You may also hear of others using this or that fertilizer, bone meal, compost and a host of other ingredients, some specific for certain plants.
If you want to get detailed, you can, and I mean extremely detailed. In our option though, it’s not necessary. We have never done soil test on a client's planting beds unless there was a systemic problem after installation - and that has happened only once in over 20 years in business.
This is good news for you because it makes your job of planting your gardens that much easier. Check this section often for more information as we publish more articles over the coming months and years.
Raised Planting Beds - Our Surprising Advice
Another popular topic about planting beds that we wanted to briefly mention here is whether they should be raised or not.
Do you like raised garden beds? They look great so why not? There's no reason you shouldn't incorporate raised beds into your landscape.
However, and this is a biggie, when most people think of raised planting beds, they think of a flower bed that is raised because it is surrounded by a border of something - be it wood, rocks or something else.
This raises the surface of the garden above the surface of the ground around it. No doubt it's a good look. Take a lot at the images below and you'll agree. These show only 2 of an infinite number of options...
Did you know that even without a border, all flower beds should be raised? This is what the professionals do.
Even with a trenched edge your garden needs to be raised from the edge of the garden in a mounded fashion. That's the look you want to have. That’s the professional look.
Notice in the above photo the garden is raised into a mound. We think this is a little excessive, but regardless, it shows clearly what we are talking about here.
The opposite also holds true. your planting bed should never be flat from edge to edge - a less-than-ideal look and one that should be avoided.
This is a very common mistake we see very frequently. Many homeowners only think of the most common image of a raised garden, not knowing that what we do as professionals is the same thing, just without the border walls.
We'll get into the subject of raised flower beds further in this section with additional or articles because we’d love to give you this other pro tip...We many times will do raised gardens within other raised gardens.
This is a great look and you'll be wanting to know how to do it so you can incorporate it within your own landscape. Watch this section for further information.
The Take-A-Way For Your Planting Beds
First, check back here often as we will be publishing hundreds of articles in the future, many will cover your planting beds and the ins and outs of doing it right.
Second, know that the soil condition is one of the most important things to get right to have happy and healthy gardens.
Third, also know you don’t have to be a gardening expert to get the soil right. It can be pretty easy. Just follow our system and you can’t go wrong.