If you’ve worked hard this spring to prepare your yard for a garden and are eager to plant those lovely flowers, herbs, veggies, shrubs and fruits, take a deep breath. Before you start planting, start planning.
You’re not going to reap any bounty by placing a bulb here or a shrub there. You need a game plan.
Here are 5 steps to ensure your garden grows into something great:
- Get an Idea
Decide on what type of garden you want. A vegetable garden? An herb garden? A flower garden?
Maybe consider a mixed garden with a variety of categories to maximize use of the space, the gardening experts at Adams Nursery & Garden Center in Lancaster suggest.
You’ll also need to weigh the pros and cons of various plants. (Annuals have to be planted every year, while perennials come back each year after year, yet have shorter bloom times.)
Beginners should start small – maybe a 25-square-foot space; something that’s easily workable. Often anything bigger can become overwhelming. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.
- Location, Location, Location
As most vegetables and flowers need six hours of full sun, it’s important to watch and track the sun in several spots you’re considering for the garden, the gardening experts at Adams Nursery suggest.
An area may receive more sun or shade than people realize. Any type garden these two factors will become important especially when picking out your plant for this area
“Plants are living, breathing things and they need attention just like pets or children,” according to the staff of Adams Nursery. They suggest locations around mailboxes or flagpoles, outside a backdoor or more importantly in view of your windows or your outdoor living space – places you’re likely to look at a few times a day.
The perfect spot is nether too dry nor too wet. It should be evenly moist; and placed within reach of a water hose for ease of watering, the staff of Adams Nursery suggests.
Once you've located the spot, pace it off with some steps and make sure it works for you.
- Clear the Area
Use a sod cutter– you can rent one – and a couple of shovels to remove sod and soil. Or you can use a tiller.
After clearing the sod from the area, use a garden spade or pitchfork to dig about eight inches deep to turn the soil. This allows air and some moisture to get down deep to where you’ll be planting.
Use a non-selective herbicide to kill vegetation, but be sure to read and follow label instructions for proper usage, for example Preen.
- Add Soil Amendments
All soils can benefit from a bit of organic matter. The staff at Adams Nursery recommends adding a two- to three-inch layer of organic compost, worm castings, organic humus, peat moss or manure – all products that can be purchased at the Adam’s Nursery & Garden Center.
Then turn by hand, a spade or a pitchfork to work existing soil and amendments. Using a rototiller here will save time and stress on the back, and assures a better mix at an adequate depth.
- To Fence or Not to Fence
Whether in an urban, suburban or rural area, you might need to keep animals out of the area.
They suggest using wooden or metal stakes and plastic netting fencing.
Don’t forget to get organic products to deter pests such as, Scram or Liquid Fence.
That can be anywhere, including on fruits and vegetables or flowers and trees and shrubs that will deter deer or rabbits from eating away at your investment.
Adams Nursery & Garden Center at 5799 Genesee in Lancaster has been named one of the Top 10 Best Garden Centers and Nurseries in New York State.
For more information about gardening, stop in at Adams Nursery at 5799 Genesee St, Lancaster, NY 14086 or visit their website at AdamsNurseries.com and click on the resources & tools tab.