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Gardening Basics: Exactly What You Need to Know Before Planting a Garden

How many times have you had big plans to have a garden in your backyard and ended up with a few pathetic plants that bloomed in late summer? Let’s just say that your past cookouts were supplied with the vegetables from the local food market.

Gardening is a wonderful hobby to get into. It’s a really welcoming attribute to add to your home, because in reality, who doesn’t love a garden. What’s most important to realize when building a garden, is the value of preparation. Value as in price and well the product that produce.

One thing I can tell you is that there are no magic tricks to gardening. You want to create the most successful environment for your plants, with the right amount of nutrients, sunlight and water for it to thrive at its best. Ready to prepare for your summer garden? Here’re insightful steps to help you prepare for your summer garden and achieve the blooming results that you desire.

Step 1: How big is your garden?

Exactly What You Need to Know Before Planting a Garden

If you haven’t had a garden before then this is the time to determine how much space you’ll want to dedicate to gardening. I recommend building a raised bed to secure the area. They’re really helpful at keeping weeds away from your garden, preventing the soil from becoming too compact, help to provide good drainage and serve as a protective barrier to pests such as slugs and snails.

Note: Before you build a raised bed, keep in mind the dimensions of the bed and the size of the lumber you’ll need to purchase. Lumber typically comes in either  8 ft., 10 ft., and 12 ft. lengths.

Step 3: Determine the type of soil is in your back yard

Exactly What You Need to Know Before Planting a Garden

Even though you are going to add nutrient-rich soil to your garden beds, it’s helpful to understand the type of soil is underneath. Why do you ask? Some plants, especially under the earth growing vegetables thrive better in certain soils and with certain nutrients. Understanding what soil is in your garden will help you to nurture the plant’s environment better and therefore, grow healthier and heartier vegetables.

 

How to test the soil:

Exactly What You Need to Know Before Planting a GardenTesting what type of soil you’re working with involves moistening the soil and rolling it into a ball to check the predominating soil particles.

 

 

 

Here are the types of soils to look for:

Exactly What You Need to Know Before Planting a GardenSandy Soil
Sandy soil feels dry and gritty to the touch. It has large particles and spaces in it, which makes it difficult to retain water. While water runs through the sandy soil quickly, it’s light and warms more quickly in the springtime.

 

Exactly What You Need to Know Before Planting a GardenSilty Soil
Silty soil tends to feel smooth to the touch. When it’s moistened, it gets a slick texture to it. Another sign of it is when to roll it between your fingers, dirt is left on your skin.

 

Since silty soil can be difficult at times, here is some additional plant knowledge from the Agverra blog.

Exactly What You Need to Know Before Planting a GardenClay Soil
Clay soil contains very fine particles and is able to retain water very well. It often feels sticky to the touch when wet, but when dry it’s smooth. Clay soils provide ample nutrients for young plants to prosper and grow. It is prone to becoming very compacted and heavy when dry, so it can be difficult at times during the hot summer months.

Exactly What You Need to Know Before Planting a GardenLoam Soil
Gardeners love is loamy soil. It’s a darker brown soil that feels soft, dry and crumbly in your hands. Air can move freely through the soil while the soil is able to retain water and plant food. It contains a balance of all three soil materials—silt, sand and clay.

 

 

Amount of Sunlight

Plants have specific sunlight requirements from full to partial sun. Since you can’t move your raised garden bed all around the backyard, the positioning of your plants will be vital for their optimal growth.

Misplaced plants either can’t produce enough food energy to power a blooming cycle (too little light) or they may get scorched and stressed (too much light).

There are three variations of sun exposure

Full: Six hours or more of direct sun
Partial: These areas receive three to six hours of sunlight
Shade: Receives less than three hours of sun exposure

If you not quite sure about your space, then monitor your gardening area from time to time with a sun chart to determine how much sun regions of your gardening area receive.

The sun is always moving throughout the year, if you monitor it every two months, you can get a more accurate estimate of your gardening area’s sun exposure. Shaded areas in the spring may receive full sun exposure in summer and vice versa.

Any dangers to prepare for?

Exactly What You Need to Know Before Planting a Garden

Do you have pets or may live near the woods where deer or squirrels could be a threat? If so, then you must protect your plants from these dangers. There is nothing worse than putting all of your hard work into your garden and then have it eaten away. There are simple ways to protect your garden, you can use a wooden or wire fence around the bed to keep dogs and rodents out and even natural repellents to repel deer.

Photo via: Unsplash.com

 

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Rachael

About Rachael

Rachael is the Marketing Manager at Zippy Shell and works closely with her team to create custom marketing strategies that best encompass who they really are in the digital media space. After completing a Bachelor's in mass communications, Rachael continued her work in a multitude of media fields, later shifting her specialties towards the growing trend in blogging and digital communications. When she is not in the office, you will often find her zipping past on her red bicycle or building a something crafty.

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