The Ultimate Planning Guide for your Spring Garden
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Prepare the Soil
Begin first by testing the soil. You can even do this ahead of time, in the fall. Many gardeners skip this step, but in the end, it can save you both time and money. Next, mark off your new garden beds and then use a spade to remove any grass. When that step is done, you will need to turn or till the soil to remove roots, rocks and any other debris. Work in a healthy amount of compost as you go, thoroughly blending it into the newly exposed soil.
If you are simply using existing garden beds, work on improving the quality of your soil by covering it with an inch or so of compost several weeks before planting begins. Also make certain that you loosen the soil, allowing it to both dry out and warm up, creating a perfect climate for new plants or seeds.
Choose Ornamental Vegetables
Gardeners who combine ornamental and vegetable gardening recommend planting in blocks of color, using such edibles as purple basil and blue-green cabbage. Colorful peppers and chiles also add a vibrant burst to the garden. Instead of planting in rows, consider planting in square or rectangular sections, mixing varieties of plants to create an eye-catching look.
You can also add beauty to your vegetable garden by using attractive fencing or edging. You may also choose to use live borders, perhaps using nasturtiums, a beautiful and edible flower. Don’t forget decorative items such as fountains to add another dimension of design.
Combine Flower and Vegetable Gardens
Flowers attract the butterflies and bees that are needed to properly pollinate your vegetables. If your garden doesn’t receive this pollination, your vegetables will not grow. Flowers also attract other beneficial insects that drive away harmful pests. Remember, spiders are a gardener’s friend.
You will need to make certain that you meet the needs of both your vegetables and flowers in terms of sunlight, water, etc. And don’t be afraid to embrace vegetables as ornamental as well. Many of them are attractive as well as practical. For instance, you can use kale to provide dark green foliage as well as a healthy ingredient in many of your dishes. And pea blossoms are delicate and beautiful.
Gardens bring joy to those who plant them and those who simply appreciate their beauty. If you begin to plan and prepare now, in the depths of winter, your annual garden can be a masterpiece of color and utility. Vegetable gardens do not have to be strictly regimented rows of healthy produce. Instead, they can be creatively planted to display the beauty of beans and cabbage. Or, you can combine the practicality of vegetables with the beauty of flowers. You have many choices when it comes to your garden, and you can begin making those choices right now.