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What You Should Know before Planting Your Garden


Now that’s it’s spring, it’s a good time to take a look at your landscaping and start thinking about what you can do to spruce up your yard (if it needs sprucing, of course). Starting a garden in your front yard or backyard is a great place to start. In case you’re new to the world of gardening, my good friend Maurine Anderson is here to share with you what you need to do before starting your garden.


Observe how sunlight reaches your property.

Proper sunlight exposure is essential to keeping the flowers and plants in any garden healthy, so you’ll want to know what kind of light various areas on your property see. Let’s say you live in the northern hemisphere, for example, and the front of your house faces south. In this scenario, the south side of your home will see the most sunlight, and therefore you should plan on planting flowers and plants that require a great deal of sunlight there. The north side of your home, meanwhile, will see the least amount of sunlight, while the east side will see morning sunlight and the west side afternoon sunlight. Other buildings and large obstacles can affect what sunlight your property sees as well, so be sure to take all of these things into account as you study how sunlight travels through your property.


Know your climate.

Similarly, it’s important to consider the climate that your plants and flowers will be exposed to. How hot do temperatures get in the summer, and what do your winters look like? In addition, how much rainfall does your area typically see?

Select flowers and plants accordingly.

Once you know the kind of environment that your property will provide your garden, you can begin to select flowers and plants that suit this environment well. If you know you’ll be creating your garden in front of your south-facing home, for example, you’ll want to select plants and flowers that thrive in plenty of sunlight. If you live in a very dry climate, for example, you’re better off planting flowers and shrubs that can withstand the heat well and that do not require a great deal of watering. If you live in a very wet climate, meanwhile, you should look for plants that thrive in plenty of water. Usually the best option here is to visit your local flower nursery and study the labeling plants and flowers as you select them.

Tip: As you select your plants and flowers, try to vary your colors, leaf size, bloom size, and plant height. This will help add interest and dimension to your garden.


Know your planting materials.

Before purchasing any topsoil, dirt, compost, or mulch for your garden, it’s important to know the differences between all of these materials. Here is a quick overview:

Soil is a broad term used in the gardening realm to refer to dirt. Garden soil isn’t much different from the existing soil in your garden and is turned into this natural soil to improve soil quality; topsoil, meanwhile, is typically richer in nutrients and is applied as a thick layer on top of garden soil. Compost is extremely rich in nutrients and should therefore be turned into existing soil to improve its quality. And mulch is added on top of soil to insulate the soil, retain moisture, and discourage weed growth. Technically materials such as gravel and pebbles can fulfill these functions of mulch as well.


Complete your gardening tool arsenal.

If you’re going to be serious about gardening, you’ll want to have the right tools on hand. Here’s a quick list of things you might want to pick up if you don’t already have them:

  • Trowel (to dig as you plant bulbs and nursery plants)
  • Shovel (for larger scale digging)
  • Cultivator (to loosen small areas of soil)
  • Pitchfork (to remove rocks from your soil)
  • Pruning shears (to cut stems and trim away dead leaves and blooms)
  • Watering can (to water small areas delicately)
  • Dial hose nozzle (to make easy work of water large garden areas)
  • Gardening gloves (to protect your hands)
  • Gardening apron (to protect your clothing and holding frequently used tools)
  • Kneeling pads (to protect your knees and you kneel)

Let's discuss: What other tips do you have to share? 

Annmarie John
34 Comments
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34 comments:

  1. I wish I had a yard that could accommodate a garden. I am always jealous of people who can grow their own produce.

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    1. I have a HUGE yard but I tend to grow flowers and not produce. Don't think I have the patience for that.

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  2. Knowing the light you get is so important. I lost a lot of plants one year because I didn't know my light well enough.

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    1. Well now that you know, I think you should be good going forward.

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  3. Gardening can be so much fun, but it's important to follow some basic guidelines and tips. These are great ideas to make sure one's garden is successful. I love planting flowers and then watching them bloom.

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    1. Oh I love seeing flowers bloom as well. My trees are currently blooming and I can't wait to see the flowers show.

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  4. I need you to do a private class just for me! I kill every plant I touch LOL! Even my mom fired me from watering her plants. I will try a few of these steps and see if I can get a garden going.

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    1. Oh I'm not much better than you. I remember I killed a cactus. Like how do you kill a cactus? lol

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  5. These are great tips for someone starting a garden in the future, love that you thought of everything!

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    1. Thank you Brandy, I hope the tips can help someone starting their own garden.

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  6. Great tips for someone who starts gardening! Too bad I don't have garden, but one day I will :P

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    1. Well when you do I hope your garden is amazing!

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  7. Gosh, I'd really like to start a garden near my patio but I'm not sure about the sunlight. This advice helps a lot!

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    1. I'm glad we were able to help you out a bit Liz. Maybe you can choose a different spot.

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  8. Great ideas for the novice gardener, especially how light hits your property throughout the day....crucial!

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    1. I'm pretty much a novice myself. I know my parents were experts and could grow anything. I wish I could be like them.

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  9. I have such a black thumb, but still truly appreciate all the advice and help here ;)

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    1. You're not alone Janine and I'm glad we could help you.

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  10. I'm lucky to live in a rest growing climate, so I can plant a wide range of veggies, herbs, and flowers. I have got quite the garden this year!

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    1. Lucky you Pam. I wish I lived where you lived. It's almost impossible to grow anything here in Colorado.

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  11. I am pretty new to gardening so I appreciate these tips! I will be planting next weekend and will keep this post in mind.

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    Replies
    1. You should share your garden with us. What are you planning on planting in your garden?

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  12. My biggest downfall was the soil where I live. I'm thinking of starting a raised garden to counteract that though!

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    Replies
    1. That's a great idea. The soil is really horrible here too. :(

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  13. Excellent tips. I have a container garden my daughter and I are growing. The soil in our area is not great but this is our second successful container garden.

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    Replies
    1. You gotta do what you gotta do and if that's the way it works, then good for you!

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  14. This is great information! I always want to do it right, but I have such a black thumb, lol.

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    1. Oh Stephanie, you and me both actually. Have you ever killed a cactus? I have! :)

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  15. Great post! I love gardening! We just started our seedlings inside a little while ago and can't wait until it warms up here so we can start working the ground.

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    1. Oh that sounds exciting. You're probably going to have an amazing garden this year. :)

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  16. Great post, this is the type of guidance I need because I know nothing about gardening. I'm looking forward to having a real yard so I can make it all pretty and cute.

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    1. I have a real yard but besides my roses and tulips I don't really plant anything else in mine. :)

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  17. Great tips! My son and I started gardening last year and enjoy it. I would also add to garden frequently. Especially during summer. A bad storm or a dry period can ruin all of your hard work quickly.

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    1. Oh tell me about it. While I love the rain because it gives me a chance to turn off my sprinklers and save on my water bill, it can ruin all your hard work in a garden.

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