Home Garden Ideas
When it comes to having a successful garden where do we start?
When it comes to constructing a successful home garden the first thing to consider is what type of garden you want and at what location. There are many types of gardens to choose from.
You can have a vegetable garden, a fruit garden, or even a herb garden or you may just want a garden consisting of flowering plants. But whatever type of garden you desire, remember that location plays a major role in your gardening success.
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All plants require sunlight, therefore a sunny location is a must. Some plants require full sunlight, some require filtered and there are others that require partial sunlight.
So remember that all plants require a certain degree of sunlight in order to perform at their best.
Plants use water along with the sun’s energy and carbon dioxide converting them into molecules. These molecules include enzymes and sugars for proper plant development. If the only location available is under shaded trees remove portions of the tree branches to allow sunlight to come through.
Another option is the use of containers. This consists of placing containers in a sunny location with some good garden soil for you to install your plants.
Here’s an article that shows you just how easy this is to accomplish. It is all about being creative and using your imagination. Article on Container Gardening.
Soil plays an important part in your plant’s health, therefore it is important to know your soil type. If the soil is of poor quality, your plants will become sickly, weak, and insect-infested and you will not get the results you desire. Soil does really matter and our garden’s success is determined by this factor. You can check out these articles for more details on garden soils. Garden Soil, Starting a compost pile.
Plant’s PH requirements vary therefore it is important to know your plant’s ph requirements. There are some people that ignore this aspect and go ahead and install plants. In some cases, the soil may be the right ph for your plants, but it is still good to have a soil ph test done. The nutrient content and their availability to plants are dependent upon the soil’s ph, therefore we see the importance of getting a soil ph test done.
You can get your soil tested by sending samples to a lab or you can purchase a soil ph test kit from your garden center and do the soil test yourself.
To learn more on soil ph follow this link, soil ph test, and do the job the right way.
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Preparing the area for planting
Next prepare the area for planting by clearing away rocks and other debris including weeds. Then incorporate soil amendments or some other organic material into the soil. This will help condition the soil so that your soil will be able to hold moisture more easily while providing your plants with the nutrients they need.
Starting a compost pile as we discussed in the article above will give you good results. For more information on this, click the following link to start a compost pile. Remember for best results apply compost or other organic material before installing plants.
After you have incorporated the Organic Material, level the planting area with a garden rake.
Know your Plant needs
No matter what type of garden you are planting, it is important to know what your plant requirements are in order for your plants to perform at their best.
N.B. Never install plants together in the same bed that has different water requirements. Eg. If you install plants that require a lot of water with low maintenance plants, the plants that do not require much water will suffer and die because of being planted in the same bed. So install plants according to their water requirements.
When purchasing plants or seeds from your garden center, get as much information from your nurseryman, or read the package for a better understanding.
Planting seeds vs Planting seedlings
When installing seeds, install them in rows to make your garden look neat and also for proper watering. Plant seeds at a depth of 1-2 inches and cover seeds with the soil. Each planting hole should be spaced about 1 foot apart to allow room for plants to grow. When planting seedlings or plants that have already started growing you can plant them 1 foot apart or as directed by your nurseryman. Press the soil gently around the base of your plants.
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1. Weed Control
Weeds are unwanted guests that can become an eyesore competing for nutrients and water. Using a hoe to lightly turn the soil is a good way to keep weeds down. This method is known as cultivating the soil. Be careful when working next to your young seedlings because you do not want to damage their roots.
Mulching helps in keeping weeds down. A two (2) inch layer of mulch around your plants is ideal. Mulch serves many purposes.
1. Mulch keeps weeds down, 2. Retains or holds moisture, 3. Keeps the soil cool, 4. As mulches break down it adds nutrients to the soil which the plants take up by their roots.
The use of herbicides in a vegetable or herb garden is a NO NO! Herbicides are poisonous and are not good for use around plants that are to be consumed. If you are using it around a flower garden that’s fine but be careful of wind drift off that can damage plants. Read the label first and follow as directed because the label is LAW.
Water plants 3 times a week to ensure that the soil is moist, not waterlogged. Allow soil to dry out between watering before watering again because overwatering contributes to plant diseases. During the cooler months, you may not have to water as much, once or twice a week is sufficient.
Garden insects pests are unwanted guests that will destroy our garden if they are not dealt with. In the process of purchasing plants, select plants or seeds that are disease-resistant or plants that have been treated.
Make sure that the planting area is free of weeds. Use organic pesticides or rotate crops every year for effective control.
Harvesting vegetables, fruits, or herbs are the reward for all of your hard work and a job well done. How rewarding it is to be able to eat from the garden that you installed and took care of with your own hands.
Following these simple steps will go a long way toward having a successful garden.
About the author
Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.