For most people, the idea of having a garden in their backyard is a major reason why they get a backyard to begin with. It is not only a great way to get outside, but having a garden can lower your food bills and make your home look more attractive. However, for all of the benefits that come with owning a garden, there is a lot of work that goes into a project like this. Having a good plan to start from is key, and having the right tools for the job can make the difference between having a healthy garden, or a patch of weeds behind your house.
Planning Your Garden
When planning your garden, it’s important to take a few things into consideration. First of all, what do you want out of the garden? Are you looking for an attractive floral showpiece to make your home look nicer? Or are you looking for something more along the lines of a vegetable garden? Planning a floral garden may involve a lot more planning than a vegetable garden, so if you’re not that experienced it may be smart to start out with a simple veggie garden and see how things go. If you want to jump right into a floral garden, make sure you have an idea of how the flowers will come together once they bloom. With a little consideration, a very attractive flower garden can be put together with a minimum of effort.
If you’re planning a vegetable garden or herb garden, there are a few more considerations to take into account. Primarily, how much work are you willing to put into your garden? The reality is that some plants require a lot more work than other plants do. If you’re not willing to put in the work necessary for the vegetables you plant, then it would be a major waste of your time to plant them. If you just want a vegetable garden you can put on “autopilot” that grows decently without much tending, look into squashes, eggplants, and other tough plants. Also, some vegetables will provide a higher yield than others. Remember that when you’re planting, you should always look for non-hybrid heirloom seeds that you can use over and over again. Some companies provide “self-terminating” seeds that force you to buy new seeds every year.
With any type of garden you plant, it’s important to know the best time of year to plant different vegetables or flowers by. This will vary slightly depending on the season, so make sure you do your research with whatever species you plan on using. If you use pots, make sure to put a few inches of gravel in the bottom under your topsoil to allow for good drainage. If you’re planning on using gardening boxes, remember to use new topsoil with each growing season to replace used-up nutrients from old soil.
There is a lot more work that goes into the tending of traditional garden beds. These types of gardens require a large initial time investment, but in the long run are much better at self-regulating and won’t require new batches of soil to be purchased every year. At the beginning of the season, it’s necessary to till and aerate the soil before planting. You could use a simple hoe, an electric or manual tiller, or even a shovel for this. Tilling the soil results in a surface that’s easier to plant, while also helping to bring soil nutrients up to the surface. There are also a number of commercially available fertilizers that you can use to enhance the nutrients of your soil.
Weed Prevention and Pest Control
Whether you have a flower garden, vegetable garden, or an herb garden, you’ll have to deal with the constant threat of weeds and pests. There are a lot of very simple ways you can get rid of these nuisances, but it will take some work on your part.
For weeds, there is always the old standby of picking your own weeds by hand. However, if you’re looking to lighten your workload a little bit, there are a number of commercially available insecticides that can make the job much easier. You will have to stay on top of it, but in the end it will pay off.
When it comes to pest control, you may need to get a little tough with the local wildlife to keep your garden safe. Burying fences below ground level will make it harder for things to burrow in. Also, if you let chickens roam throughout your garden, they will serve two great purposes. Not only will they walk around picking off bugs from your plants, but they will also be fertilizing your garden every step of the way. This is a much better alternative to possibly harmless pesticides.