How to Plant A Garden

Before you start planting a garden make sure you have well prepared the soil. By this I mean have you loosened the soil by hand or with a tiller to allow for the aeration? Have you softened your soil with fertilizers and new topsoil? Most gardens should be lightly tilled in the spring before planting to kill weeds and smooth the soil. Correctly tilling the soil will enhance the absorption of water. Remember also that nitrogen is an important critical nutrient to plant growth so give it time to settle into the soil. Too much nitrogen will make for more vines that fruit on plants such as tomatoes or potatoes. Once you have readied the soil, its time to begin planting.

Since you have had all winter to lay out your design and spring has nearly arrived, digging and planting are close at hand. Let’s say that we are novice gardeners and are planting for the first time, have a relatively large space and don’t know a petunia from a begonia, or an annual from a perennial. The first thing an annual (you must plant every year, but they bloom almost all summer) and a perennial (comes back year after year, but has a shorter booming span). Then pick your plants, and try and pick plants that are well suited to your climate and soil region. Know how much sunlight you will be getting in the spot that you have picked out. Annuals such as marigolds, zinnias and impatiens are fairly easy to grow.

If you live in a region where late frost is common, don’t plant anything until this danger has passed. A simple solution is to start your seedling plants indoors from seed using containers or flats that are designed for indoor planting and the use of a sunny windowsill or an artificial growing light will work wonders. Always make sure your seedlings are kept moist but not wet, never allowing them to dry out. Water every other day or so while they are small then cut back as they grow bigger. If you start with seeds indoors simply follow the packet instructions and when the weather is right transplant outside to fresh air and sunshine.

After plants have been transplanted outside continue to water every other day and add mulch around them (when they are large enough) this will cut down on weeds and hold in the moisture from watering. Keep the weeds pulled before they get to big (by hand is best) and if you fertilize with a liquid, fertilize every other month and if with a dry fertilizer use again about halfway through the growing season.

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