Set Yourself Up For Success!
For most of us, thoughts about this year’s garden immediately leap to “what exciting new varieties should I grow?”
But first, take a moment. Close your eyes. Think about the best gardener you know - the person with that enviable kitchen garden and those gorgeous flower beds. Chances are that a knowledgeable gardener takes care of two key things before choosing a single plant: location and soil.
Location, Location, Location
Before you select new plants for this year, how well did last year’s garden locations work?
Was there the correct amount of sunlight for the plants in each area? Too much? Not enough?
Did the beds have good drainage?
Were bothersome winds a factor?
Did high foot traffic - both human and animal – create structural issues?
Veggies need an average of six hours of sunlight per day, while some flowers need much less. Drainage issues could be the cause of stunted growth and wilting yellow leaves. Wind and foot (or paw or hoof) traffic can cause damage to plants.
Use what you learned last season to increase your success this year.
Scientists and master gardeners both know “good dirt” is vitally important! It provides nutrients, moisture, and physical support for plants. All the research agrees: better soil equals healthier, happier, lusher plants.
To grow the best possible plants, assess the quality of your soil before planting.
Observe: Is your soil super sandy, sticky clay, or hard-packed?
Test: Before you “fix” your soil, determine what nutrients are needed. You can test the pH, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium levels of your soil using our Soil Test Kit. Your local Cooperative Extension office also offers helpful soil testing services, plus advice about soil types found in your part of the country. Use an internet search engine to find your local office.
Amend: Once you know what your soil needs, add it. Work it in. Check out our all-natural, nontoxic or organic soil solutions to give you the luscious soil your plants deserve.
Congratulations! You have just laid the foundation for your best-ever garden. Now, let yourself go wild choosing fun, new plants!