Tips For Preparing Your Yard For A Garden

Posted on: 8 July 2016

You have a perfectly lovely yard. Perhaps you're thinking of adding a pretty flower garden or useful herb garden to jazz the space up. Gardening in the yard isn't the same as container gardening – it's not just a matter of potting your seedlings. Prepare your yard adequately so your new garden will thrive.  

Plan the Garden Design

You'll have to do several steps over if you start without a plan. You don't have to get out your graph paper and plan your garden minutely unless you enjoy that kind of thing. However, it's a good idea to consider what plants you want. They must be plants that thrive in the same kind of conditions. For example, you don't want to put shade- and water-loving plants with those that require full sun and good drainage, no matter how nice they'd look together. Talk to your local landscaping experts about plants that grow best together.

Scout out a Location

Going hand in hand with the design stage of your gardening is scouting out your location. The spot should facilitate your chosen plants and vice versa. Pretty much any location in your yard is suitable for gardening some kind of plant. However, choose a spot that is easily visible from the house and multiple points in the yard. If planting an herb garden, it should be accessible from the house and/or patio.

Check the Soil Consistency

It will probably be obvious if you have very clay-like or sandy soil. In general, most plants prefer well-drained, moist soil. Outliers such as cactuses and pond plants have different requirements. To test your soil's consistency, completely wet the target location with a hose, and wait 24 hours. Grab a handful of the dirt, and squeeze. If it falls apart easily, the soil is probably too sandy. If the clump doesn't break easily, it has too much clay. Either way, add compost or peat moss. The target consistency is a clump that holds its shape but breaks up when you poke it.

Consider the pH of your Soil

A common mistake is planting without testing the soil's pH. While it's true most plants can survive in different soil types, they may not thrive if the soil is too acidic or alkalinic. You can have your yard tested for the pH, or you can use an at-home kit. If your soil needs to be more alkalinic for your chosen plants, the Garden Helper suggests adding hydrated lime. Sulfur helps make the soil more acidic.

Thoroughly test and prepare your yard for a garden that looks beautiful. Contact local professionals, such as for further assistance.


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