Thursday, May 9, 2019

Building the Garden of Your Dreams

Happy May, friends! I have been busy recruiting volunteers for summer reading. This year's theme is Wild Things. Speaking of "Wild Things",today I  had a friendly garden spider in my car just hanging out on the window. It was nice to have a quiet passenger for once!

Ah, gardening. I love to get my hands dirty but I often don't make the time to maintain it. Today I have a guest post about how to build the garden of your dreams. Enjoy!

Man Holding Orange Electric Grass Cutter on Lawn

Building the Garden of Your Dreams

Gardening is a popular hobby simply because of its rewarding nature. Seeing your hard work yield beautiful flowers or delicious fresh vegetables is always exciting. That’s why so many people use the return of spring as an excuse to get into the backyard and begin work on their gardens.

If you’ve got a green thumb, keep the following tips in mind. Following these essential steps will help you grow a garden you can truly be proud of.


This may sound obvious, but it’s worth mentioning. While you may have a strong impulse to start gardening as soon as the weather permits, you’ll get better results if you take the time to make a plan first.

What type of garden do you want to grow? What purpose will it serve on your property? Which types of plants should it feature? Answering these questions now will result in an impressive garden later.

Choose a Location

Once you decide which plants you wish to include in your garden, find out how much sun they need. Most typical garden plants require about six hours of sunlight per day, but this can vary, so it’s best to do research.

Knowing how much sun your plants need will help you choose a location for your garden. Monitor it throughout a typical day to ensure your plants will have sufficient sun exposure.

It’s also important to plant your garden in a spot where you’ll be most likely to notice it regularly. If it’s out of sight, it could become out of mind, and you may forget to tend to it.

Prep the Ground

Prepare your garden by removing the sod first. This can be done by digging it out with a shovel, although this may be difficult for larger areas. You may prefer to smother it with newspaper instead.

First, you’ll need a cordless lawn mower or edger to cut the grass very short. Then, cover the lawn with a minimum of at least six overlapping layers of newspaper or cardboard, covering the material with four or more inches of grass clippings. This process creates a layer which blocks sunlight and kills the grass below. However, it can take about two months, so if you go this route, start early.

Next, test your soil. If it’s too alkaline or too acidic, visit your local garden center to find out what products they offer for adjusting it.

Once you’ve confirmed your soil’s pH is ideal for your plants, dig up about eight to 12 inches of it, mixing in organic matter such as grass clippings, dead leaves, or compost. However, if you don’t plan on digging your garden, you can simply add a two to three inch layer of organic matter on top of the soil, letting it naturally work its way in.

Plant & Tend

Now it’s time to plant! Follow the directions that came with your plants closely, or get instruction from an expert at your local garden center if your plants didn’t come with any.

You also need to learn how to tend to your plants. Create a schedule for watering them to ensure you don’t overlook this task. It’s also a good idea to periodically trim any shrubs or growth that may block the sun from your plants. Using an electric grass trimmer is an easy way to take care of this task quickly and efficiently.

If you follow these basic steps early, it will be much easier to create a beautiful home garden. Doing so is a rewarding experience you’ll want to repeat every year. Remember, the more time you spend gardening, the better you’ll be at it!