Choosing a Garden that is Perfect for You

If you’re thinking about starting a garden, the first thing you need to consider is what type of garden you will have. There are many different choices and often it can be hard to pick just one, but hopefully you can narrow it down. But by narrowing it down, you’ll make the gardening experience easier on yourself and the plants. If all your plants aresimilar, then it shouldn’t be very hard to care for them all. So here are some of the main garden ideas for you to choose from.

If you’re just looking for something to look nice in your yard, you’ll want a flower garden. These are usually filled with perennial flower.
Perennial flowers are flowers which stay healthy year-round. They’re basically weeds because of their hardiness, only nice looking. Different
areas and climates have different flowers which are considered perennials. If you do a quick internet search for your area, you can probably find a list of flowers that will bring your flower garden to life. These usually only require work in the planting stage – after that, the flower take care
of themselves. The only downside to this is that you don’t have any product to show for it.

Another choice for your garden is to have a vegetable garden. These usually require a little more work and research than a flower garden, but
can be much more rewarding. No matter what time of the year it is, you can usually find one vegetable that is still prospering. That way you can have your garden be giving you produce almost every day of the year! When starting a vegetable garden, you should build it with the thought in mind that you will be adding more types of veggies in later. This will help your expandability. Once all your current crops are out of season, you
won’t be stuck with almost nowhere to put the new crops. A vegetable garden is ideal for someone who wants some produce, but doesn’t want to
devote every waking hour to perfecting their garden (see below.)

One of the more difficult types of gardens to manage is a fruit garden. It’s definitely the most high-maintenance. When growing fruits, many more
pests will be attracted due to the sweetness. You not only have to deal with having just the right dirt and fertilizer, you have to deal with
choosing a pesticide that won’t kill whoever eats the fruits. Your fruit garden will probably not produce year-round. The soil needs to be just
right for the plants to grow, and putting in another crop during its off-season could be disastrous to its growth process. If you’re willing to put lots of work into maintaining a garden, then a fruit garden could be a good choice for you.

So now that I’ve outlined some of the main garden types that people choose, I hope you can make a good decision. Basically, the garden type
comes down to what kind of product you want, and how much work you want to put into it. If you’re looking for no product with no work, go with a flower garden. If you want lots of delicious product, but you are willing to spend hours in your garden each day, then go for a fruit garden. Just
make sure you don’t get into something you can’t handle!

 

Choosing and Planting Perennials

If you’ve been growing a vegetable garden for a while, you might be feeling slightly disgruntled at how plain it is to look at. I too began my gardening career with a vegetable garden, but I decided that it wasn’t quite as pleasing to look at as I would have liked. I heard from a friend that the use of perennial flowers could be a great way to liven up my garden without adding any extra work for me.

Perennial flowers are strong, local flowers that come back every year without having to replant or do any extra work. During their off seasons, the flowers and stems die back and you can hardly even tell the plant is there (rather than just dying and looking like hideous brown clumps in your garden). When it’s time to bloom, entirely new flowers shoot up where the old ones were.

Before deciding whether to put in perennials or not, you need to make sure that your soil has proper drainage. If the water stays saturated for long periods of time, you should build a raised bed. To test, dig a hole and fill it with water. Wait a day, and then fill it with water again. All traces of water should be gone within 10 hours. If the hole isn’t completely dry, you will need to build a raised bed.

Picking your perennials can be a complicated process. The goal should be to have them flowering as much as possible during the year, so you should create an outline of the year. Research the different types of flower you want, and create a timeline of flowering. If you plan it right, you can have a different type of flower blooming at any point in the year. Getting just the right mixture of seeds can give your yard a constantly changing array of colors.

When you go to buy the seeds from your local florist or nursery, you might be able to find a custom seed mixture for your area. This takes the really tough research part out of the job. Usually these blends are optimized for the local climate, and do great jobs of having flowers always grow in your yard. If one of these isn’t available, you can ask the employees what they think would be a good mixture. They should be happy to help you put something together which will be optimal for whatever you desire.

You should definitely use mulch when planting perennials. This will reduce the overall amount of work you have to do, by reducing the amount of weeds and increasing the water retention. Bark or pine needles work great, I have found, and depending on the rest of your yard you might have them on hand at no charge. As for fertilizer, you should use it sparingly once your plants start to come to life.

When you actually go to plant the seeds, you should put them in small, separate clumps according to the directions. This is because they tend to spread out, and if you have too many too close together then they will end up doing nothing but choking each other out. As you plant them, throw in a little bit of extremely weak fertilizer. In no time at all you should start to see flowers blooming up.

Creating a Raised Bed

If your current planting goals involve plants that require good water drainage, I am sure you know how frustrating it is to have a yard that just won’t cooperate. Some plants can handle the excess water that comes about from being in an area that doesn’t drain properly. In fact, it might just cause them to bloom more lushly. However, other plants don’t cope as well, and it will cause them to die a gruesome, bloated death. You should always find out about the drainage required for every plant you buy, and make sure that it won’t conflict with any of the areas you are considering planting it in.

In order to test how much water your designated patch of soil will retain, dig a hole approximately ten inches deep. Fill it with water, and come back in a day when all the water had disappeared. Fill it back up again. If the 2nd hole full of water isn’t gone in 10 hours, your soil has a low saturation point. This means that when water soaks into it, it will stick around for a long time before dissipating. This is unacceptable for almost any plant, and you are going to have to do something to remedy it if you want your plants to survive.

The usual method for improving drainage in your garden is to create a raised bed. This involves creating a border for a small bed, and adding enough soil and compost to it to raise it above the rest of the yard by at least 5 inches. You’ll be amazed at how much your water drainage will be improved by this small modification. If you’re planning to build a raised bed, your prospective area is either on grass or on dirt. For each of these situations, you should build it slightly differently.

If you want to start a raised garden in a non grassy area, you won’t have much trouble. Just find some sort of border to retain the dirt you will be adding. I’ve found that there is nothing that works quite as well as a few two by fours. After you’ve created the wall, you must put in the proper amount soil and steer manure. Depending on how long you plan to wait before planting, you will want to adjust the ratio to allow for any deteriorating that may occur.

If you’re trying to install a raised bed where sod already exists, you will have a slightly more difficult time. You will need to cut the sod around the perimeter of the garden, and flip it over. This may sound simple, but you will need something with a very sharp edge to slice the edges of the sod and get under it. Once you have turned it all upside down, it is best to add a layer of straw to discourage the grass from growing back up. After the layer of straw, simply add all the soil and steer manure that a normal garden would need.

Planting your plants in your new area shouldn’t pose much difficulty. It is essentially the same process as your usual planting session. Just be sure that the roots don’t extent too far into the original ground level. The whole point of creating the raised bed is to keep the roots out of the soil which saturates easily. Having long roots that extend that far completely destroys the point.

Once you have plants in your new bed, you’ll notice an almost immediate improvement. The added soil facilitates better root development. At the same time, evaporation is prevented and decomposition is discouraged. All of these things added together makes for an ideal environment for almost any plant to grow in. So don’t be intimidated by the thought of adjusting the very topography of your yard. It is a simple process as I’m sure you’ve realized, and the long term results are worth every bit of work.

Dealing with Garden Pests

While tending to my own garden, I have found that one of the most frustrating things that can happen to a gardener is to walk outside tocheck on your plants. It’s just a routine walk to make sure that your garden is thriving, but you end up finding holes in all of your plants that looked fine only hours before. The explanations for some of these plant-destroying holes are garden pests. Some of the main garden pests are slugs, worms, caterpillars, birds, snails, and the occasional gopher. Although you can never wipe out these pests entirely, after all your hard work in the garden you have to do something.

Insects are one of the worst things to have in your garden; they can live under the soil, in old weeds or piles of leaves, or in a number of other
places. In order to help keep insects away, always try and eliminate places in your garden and near your garden that these insects and other
plant diseases could be living. Remove old leaves, weeds, or any other decaying matter that insects and diseases could be living in from your
yard. Also, regularly turn over your garden soil and break apart any clumps of dirt so that you can eliminate the living spaces any insects
that might be hiding underground.

Another way to rid your garden of the pests is to use dormant spray, which is used to keep destructive insects and diseases under control. It is best that you use dormant spray when your plants are dormant, usually around February or early March. I have used dormant spray many times on my garden and it has worked wonders on keeping insects out. But as I learned from experience, dormant spray is only effective if you follow the correct instructions. When I first decided to use some on my garden, I just dumped it everywhere in hopes of killing everything harmful. Unfortunately I ended up killing my entire garden along with my neighbors. Some insects can be beneficial to your garden though, so be sure to find out which insects help your garden.

Another pest problem I’ve had besides insects has been birds. Whenever I see birds in my garden I run outside a chase them away, but as soon as I step inside they come right back. The solution that I’ve come up with to keep the birds away from my garden is to put a bird feeder in my yard.
Instead of costing me time and money by eating my garden, the birds eat at the bird feeder. In the long run it’ll save you money. Not only can a bird feeder help keep birds away from your garden, but they can also be a new part of your yard decoration. Although not completely eliminating my bird problem, my bird feeder has made the problem smaller. Getting a dog has also helped.

If you start seeing mounds of dirt around your yard, and your plants keep unexplainably dieing, you can assume that you have a gopher problem.  Thankfully, this is one of the few garden pasts that I haven’t had. However my friend has struggled with a tremendous gopher infestation, so I decided to research it. Gophers are rodents that are five to fourteen inches long. Their fur can be black, light brown, or white, and they have small tails. One method of getting rid of these root-eating pests is to set traps. The key to successfully capturing a gopher using a trap is to successfully locate the gopher’s tunnels and set the trap correctly. Another way to get rid of them is to use smoke bombs, which you place into
the tunnel and the smoke spreads through out it and hopefully reaches the gopher.

If you suspect that your gardens are being pillaged by any of the pests I mentioned, I encourage you to try your hardest to eliminate the problem as soon as possible. The longer you let the species stay, the more established it will become.