Starting a new garden isn’t an experience we often have. Only when we move into a new place or, on a rare occasion, starting a new garden somewhere we’ve lived for a while. Mostly, when we put in a new garden it’s a long range plan.
Sometimes we add new ornamental beds as time goes by. Garden plots for vegetables and fruits may require more room as we add additional crops. This is true of herb gardens as well. While it is not necessary to have an herb garden apart from your veggie bed, some prefer to grow them separately. Some herbs can take light shade, like cilantro.
Locating the New Garden Bed
Choosing a sunny location that gets dappled afternoon shade and is the right size for what we plan to grow usually doesn’t need to happen more than once. Leave room for expansion later, on the sides. Reasons for expansion include growing more plants. Perhaps we’ll have better than average results with one of our favorite vegetables and decide to grow more so we can freeze or can it.
Realize the Importance of the Soil
Proper soil is one of the most important factors in the site we choose. We should check the soil in our chosen area as early in the process as possible. What we’ll grow there will get all its’ nutrients from the soil, so we want it to be as nutritious as possible. A soil test determines the quality of the soil. Add compost to improve soil conditions.
If you’ll be in the home for a while, start a compost pile. Making your own compost improves the quality and saves you money. It’s there, handy for use in your garden bed when needed. Instructions for starting a compost pile can be found on this site. There are lots of other amendments for various issues.
When choosing a garden site, take nearby trees into consideration, especially deciduous trees, as most of them will be growing and shedding more shade as they get bigger. Sometimes we just have to work around the tree situation when adding a vegetable garden or other beds.
Adding Hard Frame Structures
Hard frame structures may be a part of your new garden area. In most cases, I prefer to get walls, fences, and water features installed first and then work around them. Other hardscape items we can include after planting are pavers to surround the bed and rocks we include as part of the landscape design.
Including a water feature that uses water that must be hooked up should be done before planting, when possible. Basically, just use common sense about installations of various hardscape features and it will work out fine.
Choosing Plant Material
Take the time you need to see what type of light your garden area receives at various times of the day, during various seasons. This may sound complicated, and it can be, but is worthwhile as you add plants to grow in their appropriate light conditions.