One of the most rewarding things you can do is to start a garden. Whether you plant fragrant florals or start a vegetable garden, anyone can take advantage of getting their hands a little dirty.
Flowers do not only provide colour and texture to the landscape, but also valuable pollen, seeds and nectar for bees, butterflies and birds.
But knowing where to start can be hard. Therefore, we gathered for you some tips to make gardening easier and reward you with beautiful visuals, delicious flavours and colourful blooms for your efforts.
In this article, you will more on how to choose the best location and dimensions for your flower bed, how to choose the right soil and best plants to select to make your garden look beautiful.
Depending on the size of your site, you can build a flower bed in front of your house, in the backyard, along the property fence, underneath a tree, or around a garden feature.
Make sure that your location has full exposure to the sun as most annual flowers need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight unless you prefer a shady site which will limit your plant’s options.
Moreover, you need to consider the scale of other features and the size of the flowers when designing your flower bed.
For instance, a large island flower bed 4 feet wide and 8 feet long would overwhelm a small front yard and a small home, but in a large suburban yard or backyard look balanced.
If you fancy having more flowers, a larger yard will be a fair deal. With a 3-foot-wide border along the fence and a small 4-foot island work together well if you have enough space between them.
Another feature to consider is the height, as plants height, it may affect the size of the bed. Taller plants need a wider bed for proper scale.
The plants’ height should not exceed two-thirds of the bed’s width. For example, if you want to grow 4-foot-tall flowering perennials, they need a bed at least 6 feet wide.
The right soil
Choosing the right soil can be a difficult task for a beginner gardener, but knowing this information will make it easier on you. The more fertile and friable the soil, the better your vegetables and flowers will grow.
Invariably, residential soil needs a boost, especially in new construction where the topsoil may have been stripped away. If your is infertile, poor and excessively wet, or too acidic or alkaline.
The solution is often simple: Add organic matter. Add a 2- to 3-inch layer of compost, decayed leaves, dry grass clippings, or old manure to the soil when you dig or till a new bed.
If you decide not to dig or are working with an established bed, leave the organic matter on the surface where it will eventually rot into humus. Earthworms will do most of the work of mixing humus in with the subsoil.
When in doubt
If you are not sure whether your soil is the best for your flower bed, you can have a soil test done through your county cooperative extension office.
They’ll give you insights on the procedure: the amount of soil to send, from which parts of the garden and the best time to obtain samples. Expect a two-week wait for the findings, which will tell you what your soil lacks and how to amend it.
Choosing plants is one of the most important steps in any new garden design or garden transformation. Which plants you choose for your garden will depend on many factors, from the orientation of your garden to its size and soil type, as well as your own preferences.
First, you need to assess your outdoor space. As you will need your plants according to the bed’s size, and height. Second, if your site is shady, make sure to buy plants that do well in a light shade like; hydrangea, viburnum, paeonia and even some roses.
If you’re lucky enough to have a garden that benefits from the sun all day. Look out for lavandula, salvia, penstemon, roses, geraniums, verbena and herbs, which all like sun.
An easier method of starting your garden is to buy young plants, called set plants or transplants. Dig holes in your prepared bed based on tag instructions. Remove plants from the container by pushing up from the bottom.
Also, remember to plant for constant colour and interest. Select plants that thrive and bloom throughout the year and even in winter. Spring-flowering bulbs are perfect for early colour.
Herbaceous perennials have certain times during the growing season. Many annuals, once they start flowering, continue to bloom until fall frost.
Spend time selecting your plants carefully; read labels and thoroughly research plant/soil type suitability, and you will be rewarded.
Always remember the mantra of ‘right plant, right place’ in mind; also, plant in bulk numbers for maximum impact.
Group plants in threes or fives or if you have more room multiples of odd numbers to create broad swathes of colour.
Don’t be afraid to fill gaps in beds with plants and flowers – the most beautiful beds, borders and pots are teeming with colour and multiple heights.
Once your garden begins to grow, help it reach its full potential by keeping up with garden chores. Water the plants. Pull weeds before they get big. Get rid of dead, dying, and diseased vegetation.
Banish destructive insects by picking them off the plant and dropping them into a bucket of sudsy water, hosing them off, or spraying on an insecticidal soap purchased at a garden center. Support tall plants with a trellis, stake, or a tepee.
Never forget to water your plants! Pour a couple of inches of water into the hole and let it soak in before you set the plant in it. Once the plant is safely in place and the soil is backfilled around it, water again to remove any air pockets and get the soil settled around the root ball.