Moving brings with it the excitement of a fresh start- new house, possibly some new furniture, fresh paint on the walls. It might also mean a brand new garden. Carving out a fresh garden into your landscape takes a little preparation and elbow grease, but the rewards are well worth it!
Start by mapping out where your new garden will be. Consider what you want to grow and the amount of sunlight required before settling on a location. If, for instance, you want a large vegetable garden brimming with fresh tomatoes and peppers, a site with full sun (defined as 6 hours or more a day) is a must. But if you prefer a perennial garden filled with hostas and coral bells, you’re best to stick to a shadier spot. Research what plants your will be growing and choose your new garden site based on how much sun they prefer. If you have moved onto a property that has limited choice as to where the garden will go, there are countless options of what you can grow, so don’t despair. Just do a little searching and asking at your local garden centre and you will discover plants well suited to your environment.
Dig out your new garden, amending the soil as you go. A nice, rich soil with some peat moss and compost should fit the bill for most applications. When you squeeze the soil in your palm, it should clump somewhat. If it crumbles into dust, it’s too dry, so more garden soil and compost needs to be added. If it’s runny, add more peat moss to help bulk it up. Keep adding these ingredients until the desired rich consistency is reached.
Now you can add your plants! Before doing this, I suggest mapping out where everything will go on graph paper. Make sure you leave enough room in between plants to allow for growth and spread. A classic mistake made when planting a new garden is not leaving enough room between plants, especially perennials. These types of plants multiply and spread fast. You may not like the look of the “holes” in your garden when you first plant, but trust me- it will fill in fast as the summer progresses.
Dig holes large enough to accommodate all the roots of what you’re planting. Loosen the soil at the bottom of your holes so roots can anchor themselves more easily, and add some transplanting fertilizer while you’re at it. This will help the plants to establish themselves in their new home. Give your new plants a good drink of cool (not cold) water, and you’re done! You may want to add some mulch to help your plants retain moisture on hot summer days.
Of course, if your new home doesn’t have space for a garden, give container gardening a try. There are so many options for plants that are well suited to growing in pots on a balcony or patio!
So take it slow and enjoy making your garden vision come to life. It’s a lot of fun deciding what plants you will grow and where. A clean garden slate is a wonderful thing- enjoy!!!