12.8.12

Garden Care for the New Home Owner

A garden can make or break your outdoor living environment. In many instances, it is not until
you own your first home that you truly begin to understand the importance of good garden care.
Perhaps you watched Mom and Dad slave away outside in the summers while you remained in
the air conditioned house thinking about how crazy they were. After all, it’s just a garden! But
now that you have your own home, now that the rooms are decorated to perfection, now that the
walls are painted and the carpets installed, now that the house looks like a home, you most
likely want the same for your front and backyard garden.
But where do you begin?
  • First of all, have a look at your garden situation. Is it an overgrown mess or is it as barren as the desert? In most instances, you are hoping for the latter. If not, then you will have to spend some time weeding, whacking and removing those overgrown weeds, roots and all.
  • Next, you will need some gardening tools. Head to the local hardware shop and pick up the following: a gardening hose, pruning shears, a digging spade, a wheelbarrow (optional), a shovel (especially if you have a big mess ahead of you), a weeder and a garden knife. This will get you started.
  • Take care of your soil. Before you can plant away, you need to make sure your soil is up to par. Good growing soil will retain moisture but does not stay too wet. You need to find that happy crumbly cake balance in your dirt. If your soil is too wet, too dry, too crumbly, too sticky or anything else, you can add composted manure or leaf mold which can bring the texture to a happy medium.
  • Start with annuals. Annuals are easy to plant, easy to grow and easy to maintain with water two or three times a week. Many annuals can be grown from seed and will thrive in both the sun and the shade, according to the plant tag or the seed package.
  • Finally, make sure you do the research and ask for assistance when it comes to choosing plants. Sure, roses are beautiful but did you know that they need at least six hours in the sun each day? Make sure you always read the labels to determine the best weather and climate conditions for your choice of plants.

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