Everything You Need to Know Before Planting at Home
Have you long desired a landscape filled with blooms from spring to fall?
13:27 30 December 2019
Or maybe you have always wanted to plant a vegetable garden for homegrown produce. Now you see an opportunity to do this and even have a plan to get started in the spring.
You’re excited to get started and are reading and researching to learn the best ways to choose your plants and the location where you’ll plant them. If you don’t have a background in planting and growing, you might find this is much to absorb and learn.
There are a few basics that can prepare you for a successful first attempt at planting a flower garden and a few shrubs in your front yard. The same basics apply to grow a successful and productive vegetable garden. Let's look at the information you need before planting at home.
Learn Your Zone
The United States is divided into different zones, separated by temperature. These zones and the conditions there indicate planting dates for anything you choose to grow. Planting and hardiness zone info is on the readily available map of USDA Hardiness Zones.
Learning your zone determines what you plant and when it should be planted. Some plants won’t grow in your zone, so there is no point in wasting your time. Many plants exist for every area that grows perfectly with proper planting and care. When you buy a plant, its zone information is usually on a tag on the container.
How Much Sun?
Most plants need a predetermined amount of sun for the best growth and performance. Many do best in full sun, some need dappled shade and some plants prefer growing in mostly shaded areas.
The most favorable area is where the sun shines on the plants from early morning until noon and then gets afternoon shade. This offers protection from the scorching afternoon rays in summer that can fry some plants. Check on the sun requirements for each plant before planting.
Get to know the sun in various areas of your landscape. This will change somewhat as the trees leave provide more shade, and the suns’ direction changes almost daily. If you learn when the sun shines in a particular spot, you are more prepared with an idea of where to grow each plant.
For instance, most flowerbeds grow best in a morning sun spot while most vegetables need a couple more hours than that for best growth and development. However, the need for the sun of many plants is somewhat, at least slightly, flexible.
Preparing the Soil Before Planting
Most plants need a rich, fertile and well-draining soil. If you have this type of soil in your planting areas, consider yourself fortunate. If not, you will need to get to work. Most gardeners need to amend their soil before planting.
Amendments to improve the soil include compost, leaf mold, and manure. Earthworm castings are excellent amendments for many lean soils. You will find a helpful guide on how to use them at https://www.simplegrowsoil.com/pages/ultimate-guide-to-worm-castings, where you'll learn that worms keep the soil aerated too. Choose the amendments that best change your heavy clay or sandy soil. Talk to gardening neighbors about which amendments are most often used in your area.
Rich soil supplies nutrients to your plants as they grow. Growing in the right soil decreases the need for fertilization. Well-draining soil allows for proper watering, which plants must have to grow, without encouraging root rot and disease to occur. Fertile soil allows plants to develop as they are intended, with bigger blooms and a more abundant harvest.
Watering Your Gardens
Watering your plants is necessary for their best development. Plants vary in water needs, but many require two to four inches per week. Usually, watering is not needed during times of rainfall.
Some plants prefer being watered with rainwater, thus, some gardeners collect it in barrels and use it during dry times. You will learn much more about how to water your gardens as you learn more about your plants.
This is by no means a complete guide to growing your new garden, but it touches on some of the important points. As you continue to study the art of gardening and take advantage of the expertise that surrounds you, it will become clearer.
As you get to know your plants, you will begin to understand what they need and when they need it. Follow these simple steps when getting started. Have fun and enjoy your new gardening experience!