Every gardener gets too enthused with the thought that he or she could finally get her or his hands in the soil and start rooting the plants that he or she had just acquired. The excitement of finally getting to see the garden come together is undeniably a rewarding experience. The key to success, nonetheless, begins even before the first plant rises above the soil and sees the garden.
Ensuring that the roots through which elements from the soil pass is healthy is likewise necessary to support the growing plant. Healthy roots will only mean that you have a happy, well maintained plant that can survive the rigors even of the changing climate. Feeble roots mean that your plants may not grow to achieve their full potential, therefore render them vulnerable to damage from insects as well as diseases. To safeguard the roots even at the onset is essential to ensure that the soil on which the plants will be planted has been properly prepared. Then again, in case you are just beginning to learn gardening, preparing your soil for planting can be a bit overwhelming.
Before actually preparing the soil, you need to consider which of the three basic types of beds you have–a brand new bed that has never been planted before, bed that had already been planted before, or bed with remaining perennials, bulbs, and/or shrubs.
The size and type of garden will depend of course on your personal interest, time available for you to have to have the shoots or plantlets placed in its proper place, vacant space as well as your family’s needs. It is therefore best to begin with a limited or smaller space and just add more when there would be additional plantlets to be potted or planted and as your experience increases.
Before you start preparing the soil, remember to pick a location where the sun shines four to six hours or more per day. Also take note to select sites that can be well drained. If water remains on top of the soil, that means drainage is poor, then plant growth will be unsatisfactory. On the other hand, if a badly drained site is the only one available, you may consider tiling to be installed or perhaps, some raised beds may be prepared. Adding a great deal of compost or organic matter to the top of soil can likewise make a better drainage in case only heavy clay soils are available.
To ensure that you have a well-prepared space for your plants to grow on, consider the following steps in creating a garden bed:
1. Mark the Spot
Measure the location as well as the spaces for the plantlets. Determine the exact shape you want your garden to take. Then mark the edges with a stick or by placing pegs at the corners and connecting them with a straw or a string.
2. Weed out!
Weeds compete with the plants and would definitely hinder it from growing. Make sure that you have weeded out all grass and removed any rock, roots or any other debris that may still be stuck underneath the soil and would later block and hurt the roots. Digging it up with a spade or a sod cutter is also the best way to mix compost with the soil.
If you still have time, you can actually cover the bed with several layers of newspaper and compost. Leave it there for a few months to let the grass die, which will serve as an organic fertilizer for the soil.
3. Edge Your Bed’s Borders
Keep the lawn from going into your garden by ensuring that your bed is properly edged. Creating a channel or a canal about 8 inches deep and a couple of inches wide will prevent crawling insects and other invaders from getting into the bed.
4. Position Your Plants
To ensure that all the shoots are properly spaced will not only make them look good next to each other, but will also allow every plantlet to be given enough space for its roots to grow and receive enough water and nutrients while not crowding with other shoots.
5. Planting Time
It’s now time to plant each shoot in the ground. It would help to loosen or tease the roots before you place them in the ground, so the roots would have better grips with the soil as it grows.
6. Mulch Much
To keep your new garden healthy is to spread mulch around each new growth. A two-inch deep layer mulch will do wonders such as stopping weeds and helping your soil keep moisture in.
7. Soak It Up
Once you have bed planted and mulched, then it’s time to give these sprouts a good soaking. Make sure each sprout gets enough water.
8. Rinse and Repeat
For every bed you prepare, just go through steps 1 to 7 and make sure that your plants are checked for any infestation or if it needs pruning or anything else that will ensure that it will receive every element it needs to thrive from time to time.