Choosing a Site for Your New Garden

by Art Gib, freelance writer on behalf of Floral Gardening Inc ( 29-Sep-2010 )

Starting a garden in your yard can help boost your curb appeal. As you work in your garden it can also be fun and reduce stress.

To begin your garden the first thing you want to do is decide where you can plant your garden. Where you plant your garden can determine what you can plant there, so picking a good spot is essential.

Are you going to plant your garden in the front or the back of your home? Decide if you have a place in your yard that will already work for a garden or if you need to build garden boxes or rip up grass. 

When planning your garden you also need to consider what you are going to plant in the space. Plants have specific requirements for the amount of sunlight they need to receive. Planting a vegetable garden has different requirements than flower gardens. Vegetables need to have at least six hours of sun exposure a day. Most flowering plants also require the same amount of sun. If the area you have in mind to start your garden is mostly shaded your options are much more limited than an area with a lot of sunlight.

Consider what time of day the sun hits your garden. Sun in the afternoon is hotter and can dry plants faster than sun in the morning. It is also good to take into consideration other elements like the amount of wind or walking traffic.

If this is the first garden you have ever planted, it may be a good idea to start with a smaller space. Starting small will help you get a feel for gardening and learn what works in your area and discover your own tricks without being overwhelmed with a large garden.

Another important thing to consider when planning a garden is if you will easily be able to water your garden. Find out if you have sprinklers that hit the area or if your hose will reach the garden when it is on the ground.

Check the soil in the area as well. Soil is composed of three basic materials: sand, silt and clay. A good mixture of these three components would be about 40 percent sand, 40 percent silt and 20 percent clay. You can dig a few holes and take samples of the soil in your gardening area. An easy method to see how much sand, silt or clay you have in your soil is to take a fist full and squeeze it into a ball. If the soil is unable to keep its shape, you probably have too much sand. If it stays in a ball but doesn't break apart easily, you probably have too much clay. You can also take your soil and put it into a jar with water. Mix up the soil with the water and let it sit overnight. The next day you will be able to see three layers, sand at the bottom, silt in the middle and clay on the top.

Don't worry too much about the soil; you can always add topsoil, peat moss or compost to the soil to help your new garden grow.

Now that you have the perfect spot with just the right amount of sun, close to water and with the perfect soil mixture, you are on your way to a perfect garden. If you happen to come across any other issues with planting your garden, be sure to contact your local specialist for gardening in Colorado Springs, Denver, or Fort Collins.


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