Nine Steps to Building a Garden
Alongside finally installing that deck, patio, or outdoor kitchen, starting a garden is one of the most popular ways of improving any outdoor space. Although there is certainly a time commitment associated with gardening, many amateur and professional gardeners describe the work that they do with their plants to be one of the most relaxing, enjoyable, and rewarding tasks in their lives.
So whether you’re looking for an inspiring new hobby, a beautiful addition to your backyard, or maybe a little bit of both, read on to learn more about how you can get your garden blooming in nine easy steps.
- Dream. First and foremost, you need a bit of vision. Think about what kind of garden you would like to have: are you most interested in growing flowers, vegetables, herbs, or some combination of the three? What sized garden do you dream of having? (Pro-tip: it’s generally better to start small and build up as you gain experience. Better to succeed in small things than to fail in grand ones, goes the old saying.) It is also worth considering whether you wish to use primarily perennial plants (which will bloom for a relatively short time each and every year) or annual plants, (which will need to be replanted each year, but will offer more “bloom time” per year.) Once you have a general vision of what you’d like, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty aspects of planning.
- Research. This is the part where you learn what it’s going to take to put your vision into action. The odds are good that you’re in for a disappointment or two here: some plants that you may be interested in growing may turn out to need more warmth, more sunlight, or more dryness than your climate and your backyard allows you to give them. On the bright side, you will also probably learn about a new plant or two that you want to include in your collection! The Gardening Channel offers an excellent collection of online gardening resources that can help guide you through this crucial planning stage.
- Locate. Now, taking into account everything that you have learned during your research phase, it is time to decide exactly where you want to place your garden. It is wise to take measurements of where the sun shines in your yard, and approximately how many hours each and every part of the yard receives. This will help you choose the ideal location for the needs of your plants.
- Clear the ground. Preparing the ground for your plants will require, obviously, that you remove all existing sod. Additionally, any sticks, stones, or other obstructions should be removed. This step is simple, but highly important: above all else, it is imperative to remove all weeds and plant growth from the root in order to ensure that your plants have the room to grow and thrive.
- Tend to the soil. Your plants will enjoy healthier lives if you invest a bit of time into ensuring that the soil is nutrient rich. Fertilizer can certainly do the trick, but the most effective way is probably through forming your own organic compost. Though it sounds intimidating, this is actually a very easy process: simply dedicate a special outdoor waste bin where you will throw away all of your organic garbage. Over time, this organic matter will break down and become an ultra-nutrient-rich and all-natural fertilizer. Whatever method you opt for, it is important to note that this process should be repeated each and every year, whether your plants are perennials or annuals.
- Put your plants in the ground. Once your yard is ready, it’s time to put the plants in the ground. Seeds, of course, will need to be planted according to the specifications given to you when you made the purchase. If you choose to bring plants that have already grown to a certain size, it is also very important that you speak with the gardener to understand the exact requirements for these plants.
- Water daily. In the early days of a plant’s life, it will need to be watered gently a minimum of once daily. As your plant matures, you will eventually be able to taper off and let nature run its course, although a supplemental watering may always be necessary from time to time depending on weather conditions.
- Build barriers. Building a barrier of some sort around your garden can help ensure that no destructive and overbearing plant life jeopardizes your garden. Mulching the space between plants and placing wooden or brick borders around the parameter of the garden are two good ways of achieving this.
- Be persistent. Your garden will certainly need lots of love and hard work, and you may feel discouraged at times. Stick to it and you will be glad you did!
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