Whether it’s your first year in your home or twentieth, nothing cheers up the exterior like a garden. Seasoned gardeners will tell you the best time to plan your garden is winter, and a plan will save you hours of labor and decision making when planting time comes around! Indulge your green thumb this spring by getting your head start now!
Goals and Expectations
Not sure what type of garden you’re interested in? How about brightening up your front or back yard with colorful flowers? What about growing some fresh veggies to snack on? Or maybe you’d like to start seasoning your meals with home-grown herbs? Maybe an extravagant combination of all three? Whatever your choice, a bit or work, time and reasonable expectations, will net a wonderful experience!
Location, Location, Location
Maybe you’ve got an expansive backyard with multiple choices for plentiful gardens, or maybe you’re limited to a small balcony or just a really sunny window. Whatever your situation, there’s a garden solution for you! Choose a location that gets plenty of sunlight, and arrange your “full sun” or sun-lover plants to maximize your success.
Choosing your Greenery
Now for the fun part, picking the plants you want to invest this time and love into! Not sure where to start? No worries, whether you’re after flowers, veggies or herbs, we’ve got just the thing. For maximum success rate and yield, choose locally adapted varieties of the plants you’re after. These have already been put through their paces in the environment they’ll be grown in, and are easier to work with. When in doubt, find your local plant nursery and ask!
Laying the Groundwork
As soon as the snow melts (or now if the weather stays mild), start clearing out the place you’ve chosen for your garden, or setting up your planters. Prepping the soil with quality mulch and fertilizer will give your greenery a head start, so it is crucial to till the soil and get a good mix before planting begins. If planting outdoors, choose your protection as well. From wire mesh to prevent digging, stakes and lattices for vines, to retractable coverings for snow and heavy rain, your plants will thank you with longer lives and brighter offerings!
Days? Yes, probably! Different plants have different ideal times to be settled into the earth, and not all your choices will want to go in the same day. If they are all indoors, you can fudge the line a little, but we like this chart for planting outdoors. Most wait until after the last expected frost day, but you might be surprised that a few can be planted right now! Even if you planned them to all go in during the same month, breaking out the planting two several days can ease the burden on first-time gardeners and ensure everything is in place for success. Give yourself time (and plenty of stretching and water breaks!) and the hard part won’t be too hard!
A garden, unlike many things in this age of smart tech, cannot be set and forgotten! After the initial excitement fades, checking up on your fledgling garden will become harder to remember. Set up alerts in your phone or physical calendar (we’re a little old school sometimes) for watering, fertilizing, mulching and pulling weeds. Make sure to adjust your reminders as the year progresses, as outdoor plants might need twice a day watering during the hottest part of the summer!
Yearning for a garden but don’t have a backyard or a balcony? Give us a ring at (703) 824-2731 and a Talk To Ray team member can help you check out houses in your area that fit your needs!