Are you a new homeowner, or a novice gardener, looking to change up your yard as the growing season gets underway?
Good for you! And here are a few tips and things to remember to help you get started.
For starters, keep in mind that yards and gardens are like kids… they need frequent tending and supervision. They are a commitment, not something you can get going and then leave to their own devices.
Begin by cleaning up the winter debris—removing leaves, pine needles and trimming away dead branches and bushes—from your property. Now you’ll have a cleaner canvas from which to develop a plan.
Will you want to install a sprinkler system, or can you manage all of your watering needs via hose and the outdoor faucets? Depending on the amount of sun your yard receives, as well as the amount of rainfall you might get, you could be watering as often as every couple of days or as infrequently as once every ten days or less. But bottom line, it’s going to need water from one source or another.
Start small. If this is your first year tending to a garden, ease yourself in slowly. Whether you’re planting flowers or vegetables or a combination of both, vigilance is required. Weeds somehow have a tendency to grow twice as fast as your plants. Not only can a garden go from looking beautiful to looking ragged in a matter of days, the undesirable plants will begin to choke out the desirable ones.
Make a trip to your local garden center or nursery before you plant or even till the ground. It’s well worth the time to consult with an expert who can advise you as to what plans will thrive in your area, as well as the type of soil you may have on your property, and what fertilizers and plant foods work best. Don’t spend your money on things that look nice in magazine photos or in yards you’ve seen where the growing conditions might be very different than yours. Learn the optimum time for planting, and which things can—and should—be started earlier in indoor pots in order to have a head start when you transplant them.
After you’ve spent a full season caring for a smaller section of yard or garden and you have a better understanding of the time and commitment level it will require to keep things looking beautiful, you can decide if you’d like to undertake a larger area next year. You’ll find this is a better way to ease yourself into yard work and gardening, rather than becoming overwhelmed, stressed and frustrated by having bitten off more than you can chew.
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