Last week, we focused on the best edibles to grow in your Southeast Michigan garden. Since you’ve already planned your garden and are armed with the right tools, it’s time to dig in! Here are six steps to successfully plant your garden.
1. On your mark. The best part about building your own garden is that you can design it any way you wish. For example, use curvy lines if you find them appealing or consider mimicking the outline of your home’s exterior walls. Use sand or flour to create a general guide before you dig into the dirt.
2. Start with good soil. If there is any grass growing within your garden outline, dig it up with a spade or a sod cutter. To grow a healthy garden, start with healthy, rich soil. First, remove any rocks, roots or other debris. If you’ve decided to add organic matter such as compost, now is the time to incorporate it. Simply add it as you dig into the dirt, breaking up any large chunks so it’s ready to receive healthy plant roots.
3. Edge the garden’s perimeter. Now that the bed is ready, it’s time to create a deeper outline around the garden. To prevent your lawn from creeping into your garden, dig a trench approximately eight inches deep and a few inches wide to stop even the most invasive types of grass. If you haven’t already, you may want to purchase edging material and push it down into the entire perimeter of your garden.
4. Place before you plant. Novices often skip this step, however professional gardeners typically place all plants before they actually plant them into the ground. Placing and spacing them on the soil’s surface enables you to determine if you like the arrangement. For example, you may want all types of vegetables planted together, then rows of lettuce and then fruits such as strawberries. If one section of the garden gets more sun than another, make sure to plant ‘full sun’ seedlings or seeds in those areas. All that matters is that you like how all of the plants are arranged, as long as each plant type is planted where it will thrive.
5. Plant your garden. Now that you know exactly where you want all plants placed, loosen or tease their roots and plant them into the ground. Allow spacing between plants, and sufficient depth placement, as indicated on the plants’ labels.
6. Grow big! To keep your garden healthy and minimize maintenance, consider spreading mulch. A two-inch layer of mulch is a master at blocking weeds and helping your soil save moisture during hot Southeast Michigan months. Lastly, give your garden a long, strong soak. If you opted for mulch and it was somewhat dry when you spread it, spray the mulch with water to ensure your plants have maximum moisture.
When you’re done, sit back, relax and watch your garden grow!
Article by: Jennifer Elkow
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