How to prepare for planting

Once all the snow has liquefied and the ground has unfrozen, it’s time to get ready for planting season! The days are longer and the temperature is warmer so it’s time to get to the first of the garden work!Prior to planting your plant, whether it be a potted plant or a bare root plant, always try and improve the soil in some way prior to planting.This can be achieved by digging and adding soil conditioner, such as compost, and on heavier soils, grit or sand. Preparing your plant garden will take a little time and energy, but will make planting day so much easier and the crop more successful!

The first thing you have to do is clean out the garden. Remove any dead plants from the previous gardening year. Some plants and roots will have totally rotten and you can leave those to enrich the soil. If there are any obvious stems, leaves or roots from your plants you’ll need to get rid of those from the garden. It’s also important to be certain you have taken up all stakes and fences from your garden.

Once your garden is clean you are going to need to start ploughing. A motorized tiller works the best to loosen up the soil and mix the roots up. As you are plowing you’ll want to take any large clumps of soil and separate them. If you have sufficient time you might need to till the entire garden 2-3 times. That is not mandatory but will split the soil more and make the garden bed a little softer.

After plowing, you’ll want to apply your fertilizer. Fertilizing can be done prior to ploughing also. The tiller will mix the manure deep into the soil, so you are going to need to watch how much you apply and be sure to have a good mix of soil and fertilizer.

Allow the fertilizer to settle for 1 or 2 days and then apply a pleasant covering of water. By moistening the soil, the fertilizer will break down and the seeds will have a pleasant level of moisture in the soil. When soaking the garden you may also wish to take special attention to any low or high-lying areas.

After the water has been soaked up you will want to go in and level the garden. This is going to help in the growing season to prevent any areas that become too damp and the water will sit there, as well as high areas that won’t receive enough moisture. If you garden is on a slope, you might need to think about building up the low side so all the water doesn’t run down and off the high side of the garden. If you would like you can from simple terraces to make for more flattened ground.

Mulching is an ideal way to finish off a planting job, providing a clean finish to the planting surface as well as protecting and feeding establishing plants. Yet mulch remains a mystery to many less experienced gardeners, so best start with a definition.

A mulch is a shallow protective layer spread over the soil surface – usually to a depth of 7 to 10cm – to help protect and feed the establishing plant. Ideally a well rooted clean compost such as leaf mold and garden compost or mushroom compost is best for flowering perennial plants and annuals, however shrubs and trees are often mulched with bark chip, which is less nutritious but far better at suppressing weeds and locking in soil moisture.


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What plants are good for my area?

If you want your flowerbeds to be the envy of the block, you need to choose the right plants for your climate. You see when you choose plants that are well suited to your climate they are better able to take root and produce beautiful foliage and vibrant blooms. On the other hand, if you fill your flowerbeds with plants that are not ideal for your climate, they may not grow, or they will struggle and not look their best. Luckily, there are many great plants for every climate. Here are five helpful tips to help you make your picks.

Know Your USDA Plant Hardiness Zone

The USDA has provided a very helpful tool for determining which plants grow best in which area. The entire United States is broken into 11 distinct zones which are determined by temperature. Take a look at this map and determine which zone you are. Often when purchasing plants or bulbs online or in a catalog information about the ideal hardiness zones will be included.

Look Around You

Another great tip for choosing plants that will grow well in your climate is to simply get out and take a walk. What plants do you see growing in your neighbor’s yards? Seeing what people grow is a great way to find plants that will prosper in your climate.

Shop at Local Nurseries

Shopping at the local level is a great way to find plants and flowers that will thrive in your area. When you look through your local nursery, do not be afraid to ask for advice. Ask such questions as: “Will it grow well here?” And “Which plants would you recommend?” To get excellent advice on plants that will thrive in your yard. Do not be afraid to talk and ask for advice. Often owners and employees of nurseries can be a treasure of quality horticultural information, characteristic of your local area. They are one of the best resources that you can find.

Follow Planting Instructions

Finding plants that will do well in your local climate is a little harder than just finding plants that can grow in your area. Each plant has ideal growing conditions which must be followed if you want to achieve optimal results. For example, some plants need full sun to grow. Others do well in the shade. Some need lots of water and others just a little. In addition to finding plants that grow in your area, make sure that you also follow guidelines for planting and caring for these plants. These recommendations can change depending on your climate. For example, tender bulbs like dahlias and begonias must be stored over winter in a warmer indoor environment; however, in warmer climates, they can remain planted outside.

See What Works for You

One of the greatest joys of gardening is experimentation. Not every plant that you choose will work out in your soil or climate. Try a variety of various plants and flowers. This will expose you to many options, and you can determine which work best for you.

Using these tips and a little perseverance you can quickly find great plants that will prosper in your specific climate. Have fun and always remember that gardening is a journey that will take years to master.



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Annuals vs. Perennials

The main difference between perennial and annual plants is their lifespan. Annual plants only leave for just one growing season and then die, while perennials plants live for a longer time and blossoms every spring season. But what is the difference between annual and perennial plants? Their differences lie mainly on their genes, but with gene technologies, annual plants can be changed into a perennial.

Annual plants:

As the name indicates, annual plants can last only for the growing season and require to be replanted every year. These types of plants grow faster and can germinate, flower and produce seeds within a short time. They can be classified further into cool-season and warm-season plants. The cool-season types grow well during springs and fall, while the warm-season variety does well during summer. The cool-season annual plants can withstand even a heavy frost, while the other variety cannot.

Annuals plants are generally available at lower prices as compared to perennial flowers. However, they provide a lush display of color from late springs if they are planted early in the summer season.

Annual plants demand a lot of attention, and each year the soil must be tilled. You need to purchase new flowers each year, and the planting can be time-consuming.

Perennials Plants:

Perennials plants are available in a wide variety with the different growing habit. However, unlike the annual plants, perennial plants live for more than one year. Most perennials have various ways of surviving has climatic conditions. For instance, herbaceous perennials die down during harsh conditions and blossom during the spring season. Other types of perennials plant shade leave during winter and turn active during springs while others remain green throughout and remain unchanged during winter.

Perennials are more expensive than the annual plants but require less care if they are planted during the right season. Once the favorable season comes, perennials plants only take four to six weeks to blossom. After growing and expanding for about six years, you can divide and make more flowers. It should also be noted that perennial plants bloom only for a short period and they often leave the gardens lacking color most of the time, especially if the flowers are cut for indoor display or gift from time to time.


Annual plants are rapid growing flowers but complete their life cycles after every season and require to be planted at least once a year. On the other hand, perennial plants grow slowly but do not die after a season and can last for a long time. Although perennial plants are available at higher prices and take time to grow as compared to annual plants, they do not require you to grow them every year and takes a shorter time to bloom during favorable weather.

Annual plants such as petunias, zinnias, and periwinkle are mostly planted on summers as they grow well in warm weather. On the other hands, perennials plant such as hydrangeas and hostas can be planted in the fall and mostly produce their first flowers on summers. However, both perennials and annuals are planted after mid-April when frost is over.


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Grass to Garden

One of the first things to do when planting your garden, after picking the spot of course, is going from what is already there to a usable garden bed.  Take a couple of minutes and check out this video with some helpful tips for going from grass to garden!