A Beginner’s Guide to Planting a Garden - Gardening Tips, Techniques and Systems for planting the right herbs, Shrubs and Trees in Your Sustainable Garden
Now that you have decided to make your own garden, the first instinct is, “but I have never made a garden before. How do I set about planting it?”
Do not worry; this has been the problem of gardeners down the millenniums. Once they know that they are going to take up with the effort of gardening, their enthusiasm soon leads them to dream of flowering hedges, shrubs, herbs and trees blooming in their garden throughout the year.
The first season of your new garden is going to be the most important one, making the difference between whether you have it in you to maintain a garden, or whether you are going to think, “no, gardening is definitely not my forte, it takes too much of effort and time which I can ill afford.”
If you have that mental outlook, you may as well stop reading this book now. If you are still reading it, then you are going to get important tips, techniques, and points which you need to keep in mind when planting your brand-new garden in its first season.
First Season, When to Plant?
Is the site of your new garden has been acquired late in the year so that it is impossible to stop your borders with herbaceous plants before the onset of a possibly harsh winter and snow, it is wise to abandon all the thoughts of planting perennials. Instead, you need to rely on annuals, the hardy and half hardy varieties for variegated color effects of the first season.
Plants like children should be given the best possible start in life, with care in the initial stages and lots of cherishing afterwards. In fact, there are some plans, which enjoy growing in gardens, where there is a lot of hustle and bustle. They flourish in parks, where they can hear loud music, cheerful noise and can “see” plenty of human activity around them.
Believe it or not, plants – however much we believe otherwise – have the same sort of perceptions of sound, like their more mobile natural companions of the earth like birds and animals do.
Apart from companionship, food, and water, they need to be placed in their new quarters, in that particular season, which is most favorable to their growth. So if your friendly neighborhood nursery man told you to plant in the early spring, because that is the best growing time, do not plant them in the late summer, because you know best. The common sense tip here is, take the advice of people with more experience.
Flowering trees, roses, shrubs and perennial climbers are going to flourish equally well whether planted in winter, autumn or spring, provided that certain precautions are taken.
Many herbaceous perennials, however resent being disturbed when the sap is rising and new shoots are beginning to appear. So if you are thinking of moving some perennials to new places in the spring, ask more experienced gardeners whether they would like to be transplanted during that time.
On the other hand, there are other varieties which do better when moved in the spring, since the tender young plants may not survive the rigors of a harsh winter or possible dank moist conditions prevailing in so many enclosed city Gardens
In theory, gardeners say that it is possible to combine spring planted perennials, as well as annuals to give a good show even in your first season.
However, in practice this method is unsatisfactory. That is because a perennial border of any size has to be planted as a whole, and it is difficult to arrange the correct positions for the spring planted perennials, with reference to the larger number of plant types which are planted in the autumn.
However, this rule does not apply for shrubs, small trees and climbers as their exact positions in your garden plan are under no doubt.
However, for the main borders, you can get a perfectly satisfactory display by a wise choice of annuals of different heights and varying flowering seasons. This will have the added advantage of drawing less nourishment from the ground, while at the same time, favoring the growth of soil bacteria.
You can consider this to be any equivalent of growing nitrogen catching crops, like alfalfa, beans and lentils, because this is going to enable your garden to achieve the necessary soil fertility in the border soil. This can also be obtained due to the balanced use of organic fertilizers before the presence of your herbaceous plants render deep cultivation impossible.
Planning Your Border
Just imagine a garden without Borders. How hackneyed, unimaginative and trite. If the conditions permit, all your planting operations should be carried out in rotation. You should remember that the mere buying and shoving in of plants in prepared soil will not suffice to produce good borders.
Carefully detailed planning on paper is just as much needed for individual borders and beds as for the layout of your whole garden.
However, the difference to these two plans is that the one for the border will permit you to practice practical variations, depending on the arrival of the plants and when they are being set in their positions. But the plan for your main constructional features of the garden can hardly be altered while work is in progress without throwing out the general balance of your garden plan as a whole.
For all those newbies out there, who want to know what bedding plants are, – these are the plants which you are going to growing your beds or in containers and are going to discard, as soon as their flowering season is over.
In summer and spring, you may want to choose annuals which are really hardy. These include sunflower, Poppy, stock and Nigella, which are sown directly into your bed, early in the spring.
Perennials and annuals which are sown in late winter, or bought as seedlings and then sown when there is no fear of frost. These include Petunia, Chrysanthemum, Begonia, Cosmos and Lobelia.
Perennials which are sown in one year and which flower in the next year. You may want to discard them after they flower. These include poppies, foxglove, wallflowers, pansies, corn flowers, Daisy, wallflower and polyanthus.
Bulbs, tubers and corms are planted in the spring every year. They are lifted after the flowering season is over and the plant is dead. They are then stored in your moisture proof garage or shed throughout the winter, and replanted in the spring. These include gladiolus, tulips, hyacinth, Dahlia Narcissus and Cannas.
Choosing Your Plants
When you have some space, which is over 5 feet in depth and at least 12 feet in length, keep it reserved for perennials. That means you are going to get a long-term border. This is going to depend on for important factors – size of the plant, how well it is going to adapt itself to particular local soil conditions, the color of the flower and also the plant, and it is flowering season.
Do not choose a plant variety, whose height when fully grown, will or may exceed the width of your border. Thus, Hollyhocks and the taller forms of helianthus should be avoided when the depth is less than seven or 8 feet.
Do not plant those plant varieties, which spread in short and narrow borders. This spreading habit is going to take up all room necessary for other flowers.
Particular soil conditions, especially in your sustainable garden means that it is much better to look for native varieties instead of planting exotic plants. It is useless to put Phlox and Primula into ground in which there is lots of free lime. In the same way, if you try to grow delphiniums, or Anchusa in areas where
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