Planning for an Outdoor Garden
One of the best ways for homeowners to optimize their space and beautify the area around their home is to think about starting a garden. Those who have played with such ideas before may feel overwhelmed at the start, but don't worry! It does not have to be massive, and it does not have to be brought to immediate perfection on the first day. With just a few considerations to keep in mind, it can be easy for anyone to cultivate a green thumb and become the talk of their neighborhood.
Plan for Your Options
Begin by thinking about what type of garden you think will work best for your needs. Do you want to start an herb or vegetable garden? What about a flower garden? What about a combination of the two? If you want to make a practical garden for your friends and family to enjoy, think about what some of their favorite foods are. What will they want to see in your garden? Apply the same line of thinking to things like herbs and flowers. What colors and smells do you think will dazzle the most? Write these down, as all gardens begin with a little bit of planning first!
Assess the Strengths of the Yard
Once you have your plans for your garden set, it is important for you to designate the appropriate spots outside. Almost all types of flowers and vegetables need upwards of eight hours of full sunlight every day. Know about your different plants' needs and think about what will suit them best. Make sure that you set the appropriate flowers and plants in the shady regions as well. You might not be able to grow tomatoes in the shade, but plants like ferns will be very happy to know that you set aside some area of the garden just for them. Pick flat spots where possible as well, as sloping gardens are harder to care for.
Clear the Earth
Before starting your garden, make sure that you have as much of a blank canvas as possible. Try to get rid of as much of the sod that covers the area as possible. If you want the fastest results, simply slice underneath the sod with a spade and cut it into smaller sections for an easier removal. Put it in your compost pile to start the decomposition process. The easiest way to get rid of the sod is to actually smother it with newspapers, but this will take longer. If you have the time, simply cover the garden with at least five sheets of newspaper. This will decompose naturally into the grass.
Think About Soil Quality
The more friable and fertile your soil is, the better your garden will grow. This is especially vital for those who are interested in working with a vegetable garden. Residential soil will always need a boost, and the solution is usually much simpler than people may think. Simply add organic matter to the soil. Take upwards of two to three inches of compost, dry grass, decayed leaves or even old manure and add to the soil as you till new beds. This will eventually rot into a mixture of humus, and earthworms will mix the organic material into the rest of the subsoil.
Once all of the preparations are done, all that you need to do now is begin planting. Think about the climate of your region and map out the plants according to ideal sunlight and shade areas. Many plants can be easy to grow directly from seed, making them ideal to set in the ground as soon as you are ready to get started. Always read the packet instructions before you begin planting, and do not be afraid to ask for help.