Spring has sprung, and if you're thinking about setting up a brand new garden,
here are some tips to get you started on the right foot.
To determine your plant choices, consider
how much sun you have
Spend some time watching the sun patterns in your yard. How
many hours per day does the site you have in mind receive full sun? Then research the plants you intend to use
and match their needs with the available sun in your yard. Veggies do best with
at least six hours of full sun. If your garden spot doesn't match your plant's
requirements, you can either adjust your plant choices or consider moving the
garden to another spot.
Do a soil
The composition of your soil can vary a lot from one side of
the yard to the other. Things that grow fine in your backyard may struggle in
your front yard. For the most accurate soil test results, type "university
extension service" and your state into any search engine
to find the nearest soil-testing lab and follow the instructions. After you
send in your soil sample, the service will mail back a lab report that tells
you which nutrients your soil needs. If you're not composting yet, consider
building a simple compost bin this spring. In terms of soil enrichment and
excellent drainage, compost is king.
site isn't right, try a raised bed
If you have problematic soil, a bad back or serious critter
problems, building a raised garden bed can be a great solution. You can build
it on the ground or in a raised planter box. On the ground, prepare a gravel base to help drainage and lay hardware
cloth across the bottom to prevent critters from munching on all of your tasty
plants. A layer of landscape cloth will help prevent weeds. Then build the bed
and fill it with topsoil, mixing organic matter (compost!) into the top 6 to 10
— Elisa Bernick, Associate Editor
We've got some great stories that will walk
you through establishing a new garden and building a raised bed.
How to start new garden in 8 easy steps
Build a raised garden bed