8 March 2021
A Garden Tip from Helen...
Well … it’s been raining a lot and the earth is still cold! But, we’ve been inundated with gardening catalogues over the past few months. So let’s get excited about the renewal of our gardens by taking a measured look at those catalogues again to plan our approach to spring planting.
Renew the Soil
If soil considerations need to be addressed, there are two approaches: either amend the soil you have, or build raised beds with the soil you want. The ideal soil is loam which is made up of equal parts of decomposed organic matter, sand, silt, and clay. An optimum mix of these ingredients is a crumbly soil that drains well but retains moisture.
Review the Garden’s Size
Another important consideration is the garden’s size. Ground level beds should be approximately four feet across, if accessible from both sides. The same dimensional rule applies to raised beds. The reasoning behind this is that you are less likely to walk on the ground which would compact it; it is easier to weed; if you are growing vegetables, they are more readily accessible for harvesting. A way of fudging this space limitation is to provide stepping stones or some other type of pathway shortening the reach into the garden bed.
Simplify Plant Varieties
I have a couple of past observations to keep in mind as you ponder your spring gardening projects. We all get excited about new plant offerings, but a mass of one color or one type of plant always makes more of a statement in the garden then one plant standing alone. Repetition of a planting provides the garden area with a sense of unity.
Also, if you aren’t really a garden enthusiast, you might not want to plant roses, chrysanthemums (mums), or irises – all of which require a lot of attention! Oh, but the mass of irises below looks so pretty.
Happy gardening and don’t forget our spring plant sale at the Heathsville Tavern on April 17.