Getting Started with a Garden

Before you start buying seeds or planting anything in your garden, imagine what your ideal garden looks like. Do you want a sunny cottage garden? A woodland shade garden? The more specific you are about what you need and what you want, the better job you will do at creating your perfect garden.

Once you have a picture of what you want your garden to look like, do some research. Pay attention to how the gardens and landscapes of your neighbors look like, especially the ones that are in a pristine condition. Don’t be afraid of talking to some of your neighbors and learning about their experiences and sources for seeds and plants. Also, don’t forget that your garden is a part of your yard and if you design it in a smart way, the yard will become an extension of the garden. Every yard is different and every plan for a combination or a garden and a yard will be different, too.

Once you’ve done all this, here are the questions that you need to answer:

What is your local climate?

Is it dry? Damp? Sunny or rainy? What happens in the winter? Do winters slow growth or does everything seem to die when it gets cold? Once you answer these questions, you will be able to make intelligent decisions when choosing plants for your garden.

What type of soil do you have on your property?

Is the natural soil in your area sandy? Loamy? Alkaline? Does it hold moisture well or does it seem to dry out in an instant? If you have no idea, you may need to perform a soil test.

What plants are native to your area?

You don’t have to grow only native plants in your garden. Knowing what plants grow on your property on their own will help you identify the conditions that you will be dealing with.