Ten steps to follow for a perfect garden
Gardening for Beginners explained in ten simple steps to follow to do a great job, to be proud of in the summer. Happy gardening and a good green thumb to everyone! Choose the best tools for your garden with Ronniy Collins reviews help.
1. Get an idea of what you want to achieve
Would you like to set up a vegetable garden? Do you love the idea of a garden with an English birth and lots of free space? Or do you want a colorful flowery meadow and a multitude of different plants? And which plants and flowers do you prefer? The real work will begin only after you have fully understood what you want to create in your garden.
If you decide for annual plants, know that they will need to be replanted every year, if you prefer perennials you will have shorter but safe and costly blooms every year. You can also mix perennials with annuals, create flowering areas as opposed to evergreen spaces or free lawns. In short, the possibilities are really many and the varieties infinite, such as the style you can get.
The only trick, if you don’t want to risk making gross mistakes from which it will be difficult to go back, is to start small! That is from small things, perhaps setting up a flower bed or sowing the grass or planting an imposing tree. These will be only starting points to develop the totality of the environment gradually, season after season until you get the garden of your dreams.
Starting from small projects it will be easier to understand nature and learn tricks and techniques of the trade. Like any other project for setting up space, even as regards the outdoors it is a work in progress, above all because you will have to follow the natural course of things and this requires time and patience, but with the right precautions and a little ‘of goodwill, the result will be nothing short of amazing: nature has no limits and knowing it and respecting it will give you a truly fascinating environment.
2. Evaluate the space available
Whether you have decided to set up a vegetable garden or to create a flowery area or a row of trees, the first thing to do is to study the spaces you have available and choose a sunny area for your crops, in which you will have at least 6 hours of sunshine. per day. Just spend a day in your garden to understand how the sun moves in it and what are the best places for flowering plants, evergreen shrubs or vegetables, and fruit trees.
Each variety of flower needs a specific amount of light/heat, so if your garden has the ideal characteristics for plants that need full sun, opt for those varieties, on the contrary, be aware that there are numerous qualities of plants and shrubs that grow. well even in shady areas. In order not to make mistakes, always read carefully the instructions on the seed packs or on plants that have already grown, or ask the experts of the garden-centers.
Choose the most spectacular area of the garden, from where you can admire your flowers or where you can enjoy the shade of your trees, or where you can set up a gazebo or a relaxation area. If possible, choose a position as close as possible to a source of water for your main areas, whether they are flower beds or the vegetable garden, in this way irrigation will also be more convenient.
3. Prepare the ground
Once the area has been circumscribed, it is time to prepare the land for planting, whether you need to sow vegetables or plant flowers or shrubs, the procedure is the same. It is necessary to move the earth (plow if we are talking about a vegetable garden), or remove the grass and any weeds (it is important to remove the roots to prevent them from growing back, and unfortunately the weeds grow very and very quickly if you do not remove the root), and literally turn the earth, that is, mix it, this to facilitate the drainage of the soil.
Eliminate any large stones, the small ones are useful for the soil because they drain water, on the contrary, the large ones take away space to the roots and limit the soil available to the plants. To save effort, it is possible to choke the grass and weeds using sheets of paper or plastic, or chemical herbicides, but in this way, it will take months to obtain the result and it is not certain that it will be a good result! Many species of herbs are very resistant and eliminating them manually is the safest solution to prevent them from recurring.
4. Improve the soil conditions
It will most likely happen that the soil that you will find in front of you once you have cleared the areas of grasses will not be rich enough or will not have good drainage qualities, this is because, if we are talking about a rough soil, that is, never cultivated before, neither grass nor other purposes, it will almost certainly be, at least in part, the result of construction waste and you will find remains of tiles, large stones and often a lot of sand.
Especially in modern constructions, gardens are set up without a sufficient supply of real land: so companies save on the budget!
It will therefore be necessary to clean your soil, at least to a depth of 50 cm, and add organic material such as compost and peat to enrich it with the beneficial and nourishing substances that your plants need, and to improve drainage, if not present, add a part of sand. The compost can be mixed with the soil even on the surface only, it will be the rains and the natural movements of the soil to bring it to depth.
But what is compost? It is organic material: withered leaves, cut grass, natural fertilizer, or even damp kitchen waste. You can create it by using special containers in which these elements will rot and the necessary conditions will be created for them to become natural fertilizers.
It will not be difficult to understand the conditions of the soil in your garden but, if you have the time and money available, you can contact professionals in the sector or the cooperative in your area. They will almost certainly tell you that the ground is not good and advise you to add and subtract the way we saw earlier.
5. When and how to dig
Digging and mixing the soil by adding what it needs (point 4) will help the roots of your new plants to penetrate easily and get the nutrition they need. But digging too wet or too dry soil can alter its structure. The rule is this: dig only when, by taking a handful of earth in your hand and squeezing it, it is moist enough to form a compact ball, but dry enough to crumble when you drop it.
Use a fork or a small hoe to mix the earth and do it in the first 20-30 cm of soil, obviously, you will have to repeat the same procedure every time you go to plant something new, whether they are flowers, plants, or vegetables.
To prepare a flowerbed with perennials, the procedure is a little different: you will need to dig the first 20-30 cm of soil and remove them, in order to work the lower level (always 20-30 cm), adding organic material and then replace the two quantities of soil, or invert them, the clod that was on the surface will end up below and the one worked above. It’s a great job but will definitely make a difference in the growth of your perennials.
6. Choose what to plant
Now that we’ve described the “how” let’s move on to the “what” you want to incorporate into your new natural landscape. Some of you will prefer to browse catalogs and magazines to get an idea of what nature offers in terms of flowers, trees, vegetables, and fruit plants; others will already know what they want to see in their garden and will only plant what excites them. Both paths are fine, just choose varieties suitable for the climate, soil, and sun exposure of your garden. Here is a small and, by no means exhaustive, list of plants that are easy to grow and manage:
- Annual plants: cosmos (around the bush plant with small dark green leaves and colorful flowers), marigolds (a plant with an erect stem with flowers that vary in shades between yellow, red, and orange, there are also perennial species), impatiens ( also known as the “glass plant”, it produces flowers of various colors: white, pink, red, and requires a sunny exposure), geraniums, sunflowers and zinnias (stem or bush plant of variable size, some varieties are very tall up to 150 cm, it produces really colorful flowers from yellow to red to purple and even green, it is easy to grow and there is also a perennial variety).
- Perennials: Russian sage, Susan magnolia, violet, Phlox (an evergreen plant with bright dark pink flowers), pansies, dahlia (with beautiful decorative flowers).
- Vegetables: lettuce, peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers.
7. Times for planting
Each variety of plant, be it flower, shrub, or vegetable, prefers a very specific time to be planted. Pansies and cabbages, for example, tolerate the cold well so you can plant them even in autumn or late winter; Most annual flowers or some vegetables such as tomatoes, on the other hand, can’t stand the cold, which is why to wait until the frosts have passed in your area before planting them.
The period between mid-spring and mid-autumn is ideal for planting perennial flowers. Since these are only basic indications, always read carefully all the information you will find on the seed packs or ask the garden center staff about the times and methods of planting and sowing for any species you have chosen.
Some vegetable plants but also flowers, such as sunflower, for example, are easy to grow by planting the seeds, instead of the plant already grown, also as regards the seeds you will find on the packages all the necessary information for what concerns the sowing season, the right depth of planting and the distance to be kept between one seed and another.
If you want to take advantage of the harvest it is possible to start sowing also in winter, so as to obtain the first harvest in spring. To do this, there are specially designed containers on the market, for plants or seeds, which contain the perfect type of soil for the purpose and you only have to place them on a windowsill that is fairly covered and exposed to the sun, or indoors using artificial lamps. The simplest method, however, is to buy the newly born seedlings, called plants, and transplant them into your garden.
All plants, especially newly born ones and seeds, need water every day until the roots strengthen and the plants grow. Subsequently, it will be necessary to monitor the humidity of the soil to understand when to irrigate, a simple trick is to wait until the first 1-2 cm of soil is dry before giving more water. Plants ask or even beg =) water when you see them wither during the central hours of the day.
If it rains or if the climate is rather humid, just apply the rule we have seen, but in principle, a half-hour of irrigation in the early hours of the morning is sufficient even in the hottest season. To obtain excellent drainage and avoid that the water evaporates quickly when the soil heats up with the rays of the sun, always irrigate at ground level and with light water pressure so that it penetrates underground, and in any case never on the leaves below. in the sun!
9. Protect the garden from weeds
To avoid that the hard work of eradicating weeds has to be constant and close in time, protect the vegetable garden, and flower beds with mulch. Mulching is a cultivation technique that consists of covering the soil around shrubs or in flower beds with plant or inorganic material. The advantages are many: first of all, it protects the area from weeds, but it is also useful for avoiding thermal changes that would damage seeds and shoots, it maintains the right level of soil moisture and improves its composition. Organic mulch consists of broken leaves and twigs, bark or peat, and manure. Ideal and also aesthetic especially for flower beds is the bark. The inorganic one can be composed of clay, gravel, or volcanic lapilli.
10. Keep it up!
You are now gardeners! Your garden is underway and in good hands! Remember the irrigation and eradication of weeds, give your cultivated land a part of fertilizer in the middle of the season. And now… smell the scent of your flowers, taste your vegetables and enjoy the view from your new heaven on earth!
And don’t forget:
- Spring is the right season to start work in your new garden, sowing the turf, planting flowers, and setting up flower beds, even if the planning of spaces and the choice of plants to insert in the garden can begin even earlier, during the last colds.
- Summer represents, for professional and non-professional gardeners, the period of irrigation and weeding and it is the time to enjoy the spectacle of the flowers that bloom and the plants that grow.
- Autumn, on the other hand, is an excellent time to plant large trees, shrubs, bulbs, and perennials, or to sow grass, as with the arrival of the cold season the lawn can rest without being trampled for the time necessary to strengthen and thicken.
- During the winter the gardener’s work will be limited to sporadic pruning and the rest will be just enjoying the sight of the work done during the other seasons.