Get Ready to Grow: 6 Easy Tips for Planning Your Spring Garden
Chelsea McGrathMay 21, 2020
The chirping of birds, the buzzing of busy bees, and the warmth of the sun are all invigorating reminders that it’s finally time to get outside and get your garden started. But if your enthusiasm for gardening usually runs out within a month and leaves you with nothing to harvest but a few wimpy squash, follow these six easy tips that will help you plant a garden that will thrive all season long.
Spring Garden Tips
When it comes to gardening, there’s a lot to know. But most of it comes from learning as you go. Whether you’re just getting started with your first garden or you’re ready to make some updates to an existing one, these tips will help you make the most out of the spring gardening period.
1. Observe Your Garden Space
Pay attention to the place or places where you want to plant. How much sun do these areas get at various times throughout the day? When it rains, does water pool up, run off, or linger below the soil? What kinds of insects and wildlife like to visit the area? Are there native plants nearby that will creep into unwanted places?
There’s no use fighting against the elements, but you can find ways to work with it to create a garden that you love. Some plants work better with wetter soil and some thrive in drier conditions. If you frequently have deer visiting your yard, plant things that won’t be appetizing to them.
Keep the natural parameters of your plants in mind to ensure a thriving garden all year long.
2. Draw Out Your Design
How do you know you’ll like what you plant? Draw out your landscaping ideas to envision what it will look like before you even begin.
You can start with a general concept sketch, but be sure to draft your final garden design on graph paper. Measure your garden space and scale the design properly (i.e., one square on your graph paper equals 1 square foot of your yard) to get an accurate idea of what your garden will look like.
Next, draw in the hard elements of your garden. These items include rocks, paths, benches, bird baths and plants. Be sure to consider the spacing requirements for each plant as you create your design. Overcrowding can lead to unhealthy plants and an unsightly garden.
3. Balance Practicality With Beauty
While you want a beautiful garden, you also want one that is easy to maintain, so you can enjoy it without worrying too much about the upkeep. There’s a balance you have to hit between planting a beautiful garden and one that’s functional and practical.
For example, planting your vegetables in unique places can create an interesting aesthetic, but it can also make weeding, watering and harvesting a chore. Similarly, piling mulch around your flower beds will eliminate weeds, but it can detract from the beauty of your flower garden.
The way your garden looks and the way it functions are equally important, so make sure to consider both during your planning phase. A gardening professional can offer tips to make sure that your garden retains its beauty in a way that works for you.
4. Use The Natural Landscape
With a bit of creativity, you can incorporate almost any part of the natural landscape into your garden design. If you’d prefer to incorporate your natural surroundings, take a look around you. Do you live in an area surrounded by forests? Bring in ferns and woodland flowers. If your area is dry and desert-like, opt for plants that don’t need much water.
Rather than try to move any elements that are naturally in your garden, like boulders, incorporate them into your design.
And try to use your landscaping strategically, to disguise or help anything naturally occurring in your garden. Deep-rooting plants will improve the integrity of slopes while creeping plants will add visual interest to any unsightly areas of your yard.
5. Choose Your Trees Carefully
Even the hardiest flowers and the easiest vegetables to grow usually last one season. But trees are a different story altogether. Trees are a big commitment.
It’s important to research any trees before adding them to your landscaping. Planting the wrong kind of trees can damage your home’s foundation and roof, and even detract from your property’s overall value.
Things you should consider before picking your trees include:
- How tall will the tree grow?
- How large will its canopy be when it’s fully grown?
- What shape will it take?
- What are the sun, soil, rain, and temperature requirements for the tree to thrive?
Ask a professional if you’re unsure about which trees are best suited for your home.
6. Consider Companion Planting
Find out which of your plants work well together and which should remain apart. Use herbs like rosemary to help thwart garden pests and diseases. Herbs can also improve the flavor of your vegetables. Planting rosemary with beans (and oregano with tomatoes) will produce tastier veggies.
You can also incorporate flowers into the companion planting system. Marigolds, for example, are commonly used to keep bugs away from other more vulnerable plants.
Spring Planting: Bulbs To Plant In The Spring
Are you dreaming of a beautiful, flowering garden this summer, but you’re not quite sure what you should be planting this spring? Most people like to use springtime to plant summer blooming bulbs. Just make sure you’re truly in the spring and there’s no more threat of winter frost, because many of these may not make survive a cold, frosty evening.
The best things to plant in the spring include:
- Hardy Gladiolus
Plant these in the early spring and you’ll enjoy beautiful blooms throughout the summer and even into the fall.
Planning a garden takes a lot of work. When you collaborate with a gardening professional, your chances of a positive outcome are substantially higher. Consider getting in touch with a professional in your area who can help you plan the garden of your dreams.