Warm weather is finally upon us and we're excitedly preparing our serene gardens. But, before you dig into the dirt, make sure you have a plan.
Planting the seed
Creating that dream garden doesn't take much more than a concept and the will to execute it, according to local gardening experts.
“What we would like to see is a modest, unprofessional drawing of your layout, how many square feet it will take up, whether it is for landscaping or a garden," said Meldrum Brothers Nursery and Supply Manager Greg Keller.
If updating an existing garden, Keller recommends adding a high-quality compost peat mixture to ensure growth. New garden spaces should be free of debris and clay.
Choosing a type of garden—such as vegetable, rose, butterfly or herb patches—means considering where it's positioned. Flowers like roses and azaleas are the best options for mostly sunny spots while shaded spaces will nurture hosta, Lily of the Valley and hydrangea plants. Selecting which vegetables to grow should follow personal taste and growing season, he said.
A few colorful flowers can go a long way in adding character to a property. Most annuals cost about $9.99 per plant. Keller said that overall prices run around $100 for modest gardens and into the thousands for more elaborate ones, depending on square footage and vegetation selection.
For those who aren't the do-it-yourself types, prices usually get steeper when a landscaper enters the picture. Customers who want landscaping can help bring their vision to fruition by providing Keller and other experts detailed information about their plan and a photo of their property.
Watching it grow
Keeping a garden well hydrated is crucial. Adding mulch to flower beds can require less watering since it helps retain moisture in the soil. Watering with a garden hose or sprinkler system are both fine, though Keller prefers to take extra care and hand water his plants and flowers “until they are established.”
Animal deterrent spray is not 100 percent effective but works to irritate the nasal passages of intruders and helps keep them away from gardens. Other supplies for the garden, such as tools and organic products, are offered at the nursery.