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Seasonal Tip

How To Plan A Garden
March 21, 2009

With spring's arrival comes the time to begin planting. But what if you've never had a garden before? How do you begin? Remember that behind every great garden is a great garden plan.

Start with your idea: colors, wildlife, fruits and vegetables, cut flowers, etc. The possibilities are endless. Begin to develop your idea in writing. It is best to begin small and choose easy to grow plants. Start with garden staples and begin to expand either later in the season or next year.

Pick the right spot for your garden. Check the views from your windows and doors. Consider where you entertain and make use of your current lawn. Make sure they do not conflict with one another. Don't forget to consider your water source. It should be nearby.

Check your sunlight levels:

  • 6+ hours of direct sun between 9 & 5 = Full Sun
  • 4 - 6 hours of direct sun between 9 & 5 = Part Sun
  • Less than 4 hours of direct sun between 9 & 5 = Shade

At the garden center, the sun and shade plants will be in separate areas. You will have the option of buying annuals, perennials, shrubs, and trees. Perennials come back every year, automatically. Annuals grow, then flower, set their seed, and die in one growing season. They generally need to be replanted every year. And of course, shrubs and trees are called "woodies" and persist all year, adding interesting flowers, foliage, and form. A well-planned garden can include some of each, as long as the space is adequate to support the mature size of the plants.

Make your selections and consult with the garden professionals to ensure that your plant selections will work in your garden. Be sure to ask as many questions as you need about plant care and growth. Garden professionals should be more than happy to educate you on your plant selections and successful gardening methods. Be sure to look around as you shop. A good garden center will have displays with ideas that you can use, and products that will add to your gardening experience.

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