For the Lady I Met In Walmart Yesterday…How To Start Your Garden

Hi there!

I heard you ask for help yesterday in Walmart and spoke with you a few minutes later and told you a little bit about my blog. Since then I’ve been thinking  about how I can help people like you who are just starting out with their very first garden and I came up with a few simple ideas. These are my thoughts after talking with you for just a minute or two.

—You said that your garden will be next to your driveway and you want some things growing and some color. I didn’t say it, but I should have said that you would want to dig down 12-16 inches to loosen the soil really well. If you just scratch the surface it will be tough for the roots to grow and establish themselves.

—Then, see what kind of soil you have. It may be nice topsoil (black, brown and crumbly), or sandy (light colored and very fine) or clay like (sticks together in a clump when it’s a little wet). It may be very rocky (try to take out as many as you can), or not. Adding compost that you can buy in bags from garden centers will help improve most soil. If you have an extreme version of any of the above you may need to work at it a little bit more. Here’s a link that can help you with that.

—As you work on getting the soil ready watch the way sun shines on the space. How many hours of sun the garden gets is really important in choosing plants that will do well. It might be over 8 hours a day (full sun), 3-6 hours a day (part shade) or less than 3 (shade). Match the light requirement on the plant tag with the type of light you have. It’s really important to do this!

—Look for plants that will fit the light requirement and the type of garden that you have in mind. Read the labels again to get an idea of how tall the plants will be and when they’ll bloom. Some tags even tell you what to plant together which is really handy when your first starting out!

—Try to arrange the plants so that the tallest are in the back and shortest are in the front.

—Pull the weeds as you see them pop up. If you do this for a few minutes every day you’ll be able to keep up with them easier.

—Watch the weather and be sure to water if it doesn’t rain.

—Take off dead flowers and leaves so that new ones can grow.

—Leave me a message here if you have any questions. I’m happy to help if I can!

— Most importantly, enjoy it! Don’t worry too much if plants don’t make it, it happens to all of us! You can do it!!!

Michele

ps/ Other gardeners, feel free to chime in with your ideas and suggestions in the comments section.

Let’s help this lady have the best first garden ever!

English: Soil types by clay, silt and sand com...
English: Soil types by clay, silt and sand composition. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Is It Just Me?

I know, I know, this is silly, but, when I take apart the planters it’s hard for me to throw the old plants into the compost. I’ll miss them. They were beautiful and I feel a sense of loss. I can throw anything away in the house with no problem, but plants are different. I tend to hang on for a long, long time. So the other day I took everything out of the big front porch planter and went down to the compost bin. In went the spike plant, the verbena and the stock…. then I got to the geraniums. I threw one in and took it out. Then I looked at the four plants in my hand and I knew what I had to do. So, up they went to the kitchen counter. Michael came home and they were still there. Of course he said something like “oh, please, no, not again… you know that these are going to hang out all winter and your never going to do anything with them. In the spring you’ll be buying more”…   Well, he’s probably right. I do that.  I have great thoughts about wintering things over  and re-using them.  But maybe this is the one time it will work. Maybe these geraniums will come back as beautiful as ever. So for now I’ve tucked them away in a dark, cool corner of the basement. Just hanging out, waiting for spring.

DSC01192

Maybe they’ll be back, we’ll see!