Planting Tips – How to Grow Your Best Garden Yet!
I love this time of year because I simply LOVE outdoor living! Grilling, patio sitting, late night outdoor cocktails – it’s the fun and easy days of spring and summer. Live your outdoor life to the fullest with a visually appealing and veggie-producing garden right in your very own backyard!
First things first: talk to the professionals
Every area has its own quirks and specifics as it relates to gardening. Whether it’s a type of soil or weather patterns, talking to your local gardening shop is a must do when planning your garden. Bring pictures of your yard, know which side gets morning or afternoon sun, and ask questions! Some gardening shops provide at-home consultations where a landscaping professional will come to your home and offer advice and tips on what to grow and what not to grow. Another great resource for plant knowledge is your neighbors! If you have any neighbors with an obvious green thumb, chat them up for advice to see what works best in their yard. As someone with the same climate and gardening environment as yours, neighbors can be a wealth of information on what works and what doesn’t in your neighborhood!
Animal resistant plants and sprays
If you live in a wooded area like I do, you probably love seeing deer, bunnies and all types of creatures roaming around your backyard. While they are adorable, I can promise you won’t enjoy it when they eat the plants you have worked so hard to maintain! Here are a few products that can help make plants deer resistant:
- Spray: This liquid fence spray from Home Depot has worked very well for me. It has a very distinct odor that keeps away curious creatures, and it doesn’t harm animals if they do ingest it!
- Cages: Growing tomatoes? Keep animals away with this plant cage from Agricultural Solutions. While it’s not the most attractive, you won’t care when you are eating fresh veggies from your own backyard!
- Plant Types: There are certain types of plants/flowers that deer and bunnies are not attracted to. Specifically, marigolds, snapdragons, and daffodils to name a few. In terms of vegetables, any vegetables that have an odor such as onions, garlic, leeks and herbs such as mint, chives, and dill will deter animals.
Sun vs shade
When shopping for plants, you’ll notice that they are tagged with “Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade.” These labels can be confusing, so I’ve broken it down for you:
- Full sun is 6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day
- Partial sun or partial shade is 4 to 6 hours of direct sunlight a day
- Full shade is less than 4 hours of direct sunlight a day
Pro Tip: Spend a day noticing the sun patterns in your yard. Note which areas get sun or shade and diagram your yard to designate which types of plants require sun or shade!
Watering is one of the most important aspects to growing a successful garden. Here are some general tips to make sure your plants don’t go thirsty!
- The best way to tell if a plant needs water is if it looks wilted or if the soil is dry to the touch.
- Water your vegetables 2-3 times a week, sometimes more if the weather is extremely hot.
- If you live in a hot climate, watering 2x a day might be necessary. If you go out of town on summer vacation, make sure someone is watering your plants every day or you will come home to a sad looking garden.
- Consider irrigation – both sprinklers and drip irrigation. Drip irrigation is the hose that runs throughout your plant beds and leaks water into the beds. Get several quotes before committing to an irrigation installation.
- If you can’t swing irrigation costs this season (depending on the size of your yard, irrigation will run you thousands of dollars), try one of these sprinkler attachments that hook up to a hose:
Biggest takeaway: In our culture of immediate results, we want to see a perfect garden grow in a matter of days! Unfortunately, garden and lawn care is trial and error and it may take years for you to perfect your garden. You may do everything right but for some reason, certain types of plants may not grow in your yard. Gather information before planting, go through one season, and take notes of what grows and what doesn’t. Then sit back and enjoy the results of your hard work!
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