Planning Your Garden

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Most home gardens happen by chance by planting a few flowers here and a few plants over there.  Before you know it your garden’s full and the flowers and plants look great, you just wished you had planned out your placement a little better, but by now it’s too late.
We all know a little planning, no matter what the endeavor, can go a long way.  Take a few minutes before you bring out the gardening gear to think about the following important factors:
1. Determine where the best sun and shade will be
Be aware of trees or buildings that may block the sun in your yard.  You can estimate where the sun will be tracking in your yard and plan accordingly.  Place the sun loving plants where they will receive the most sun possible and in turn place the shade loving plants in spots where they are shielded from the sun at the hottest points of the day.  This is a very important stage in planning your garden, some of the more serious gardeners may even use a light meter.
2. Make a drawing
Before you start, make a sketch of your garden.  Try to make it somewhat to scale, you can do this by counting the number of steps along the length and width.   Draw in any trees or buildings that may shade your garden as well as any low or high spots or anything unique about the area.  A good scale drawing will help give you an idea of how much seed to buy and how many plants you can fit into the area. In a bigger garden it can be helpful to break it down into sections.  One section for flowers, one for annuals, one for herbs and anything else that makes sense to you.
3. Proper Soil Preparation
It is essential to have a quality organic Black Garden Soil with a blend of compost, aged bark and peat that will feed and protect your garden.  This blend of soil is balanced for pH and has great water holding capacity.  You must remove grass, weeds and any kind of vegetation before you start planting.  Spread your soil at 2”-3” thick and turn the soil with a garden spade, rototiller, rake etc. breaking up any clods and working in the new soil.
4. Annuals or Perennials ?
Annuals are a one season display of color that flower almost immediately until the first frost where they will die.  They are usually a fair amount of work to maintain as they require close attention to watering, weeding and deadheading to ensure a continued bloom.
Perennials are more expensive but will grow for years, instantly becoming a permanent addition to your garden.  After 1-3 years perennials may need to be divided giving you new plants to relocate in your yard.


There are countless factors that can be taken into account when planning your garden and I hope these four will help you start or freshen up your pre existing garden.
If you have any questions or comments please post them below!


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