With the onset of spring season, many Bay Area landscape owners have given their patch of greens a new look. Are you still on a look out on how to prepare your garden for new plants? If yes, this post is for you. Though most informed gardeners have already done their planting before the summer heat arrived, you still have a chance to make up for the lost time with a few tips:
- Test your soil: You need to test your soil to know its type – it could be heavy clay soil, light and sandy soil, or moderate and productive soil. You can use a soil-testing kit for the purpose which comes equipped with a soil-collection bag and instructions. Follow the instructions keenly to get accurate results. Another way is to get professionals involved. You can also hire a landscape company to do your garden soil testing.
- Have a plan: You should have a layout plan about what and where to plant. Whether you want to grow a vegetable garden or opt for ornamental plants/shrubs, make a well thought out plan. While planning the layout, ensure to keep adequate room for working on the plants and allowing them good growth.
- Clear the rubbish, weeds and old plants: If you already have plants that you want to get rid of, pull those out and throw them away. You should also dig out weeds, vines, grasses as well as old, invasive shrubs. This especially applies to perennial and biennial weeds such as Bull Thistle, Fennel, Artichoke Thistle, Poison Hemlock and Perennial Pepperweed. Removing rubbish is yet another important task for preparing your garden for new plants.
- Dig the soil: Dig the soil deep (as most plants need 6-8 inches of good ground to have room for their roots to grow in and get access to nutrients and moisture). While digging or tilling, you remove any large/loose rocks or stones, along with any debris or roots that you may encounter. In case your garden has an extremely compacted soil, you may need to use multiple attempts to break up the chunks and remove them.
- Prepare the soil: Depending on the type of your soil, you should add soil amendments like compost, peat moss, decomposed leaves, dehydrated cow manure etc to improve its structure. Once these are applied, add a suitable fertilizer to make the soil ready for plantation. If you are not sure about the right soil fix or fertilizer, ask landscape experts to suggest some.
- Choose your plants: Though it’s the best to plant seeds and see them grow, right before your eyes, not everyone may have the confidence or time to handle the task. Also, when you are starting a bit late and most of your neighbors’ landscapes are already sporting colorful gardens, it’s hard to toil. In such cases, you can opt for flower and vegetables starting kits that are easily available at your nearby retailers or local garden centers. You can also hire experts of a commercial landscape company who will help you choose the right plants for your garden. Experts say that it’s always a good idea to select plants with a variety (with respect to height and color) as this will keep your garden interesting and beautiful to look at and not make it monotonous.
Now that you know about the fundamental steps of preparing your garden for new plants, work wisely to showcase your own patch of green dotted with beautiful colors.