What is an ideal garden?
In fact, there are no clear rules to follow in order to get the garden of your dreams. The design of the garden and vegetable garden is based on the correct distribution of zones. Before you start planning, you need to go around the site and mark the bright sides on the garden plan, and also those that are shaded most of the day. It all makes a big difference! Thus, you can learn how to properly perform gardening with your own hands, including how to make a breakdown of beds or where to place ornamental plants.
Landscaping of such a plan is subject to certain rules. Divide the plot into sunny, shady and semi-shady sides to give each plant exactly what it likes.
The garden and vegetable garden should be located on the part of the territory that receives the maximum amount of sunlight and heat. This rule must be followed. Good natural lighting is required to obtain a rich harvest when growing a lot of crops.
Knowing the pH of the soil is the key to understanding whether essential minerals will be available to plant roots. A simple test will show whether the soil is neutral, alkaline or acidic. If the soil is too acidic or too alkaline, it will be difficult for nutrients to dissolve in water and reach the roots of plants. As a result, this will lead to crop failure from year to year.
How to correct the pH level in the soil?
If the soil is too acidic or too alkaline, it is unlikely that plants will be able to absorb the right amount of nutrients needed for growth.
If the pH level is higher than 7.0 in an area with alkaline soil, choose plants suitable for growing in alkaline conditions, or reduce the alkalinity of the soil by adding organic materials such as needles, peat moss and compost leaves. An increase in the organic matter content in the soil usually leads to a shift in the pH of both acidic and alkaline soils towards the neutral range.
Pay attention! Most plants, with a slight deviation from neutral, have no problems. If the pH values are slightly acidic or slightly alkaline, compost and organic mulch can make the adjustments that are needed for the crops to be excellent and the garden to grow well.
Plants for acidic soil
There are quite a few fruit and vegetable plants that thrive in acidic soil. These include:
- beans (6.0 to 7.0)
- broccoli (6.0 to 7.0)
- beetroot (6.5 to 8.0)
- garlic (from 6.0 to 7.5)
- cabbage (from 5.5 to 6.5)
- lettuce and other leafy greens (from 6.0 to 7.0)
- parsley (from 6.0 to 7.0)
- peas (from 6.0 to 7.5)
- potatoes (from 4.8 to 6.0)
- onion (from 6.0 to 7.0)
- peach tree (from 6.0 to 7.0)
However, some research should be done before adding these plants to your garden, as some of them may like acidic conditions, while others can only tolerate them.
Plants of alkaline soils
If the soil is slightly alkaline (pH from 7 to 8), you can grow these vegetables without making amendments:
- artichoke (6.5 to 7.5)
- asparagus (6.0 to 8.0)
- cabbage (6.0 to 7.5)
- muskmelon (6.0 to 7.5)
- vines (from 5.5 to 8)
- spinach (from 6.5 to 7.5)
There are different ways to determine the acidity of the soil: both with the use of special devices and home methods.
Pay attention! The PH test can be purchased at garden centers. There are 14 points on the scale. The number 7 is the center, and means a neutral reaction. Anything below 7 is an acid reaction, and above 7 is an alkaline reaction. The optimal place for plant growth is 6.5.
If there is no testing kit, you can do a soil analysis with vinegar and baking soda. This method will require a small amount of soil, table vinegar and soda:
- put equal amounts of soil in two separate containers;
- vinegar is added to one, and the reaction is checked: if the soil sizzles, most likely it is alkaline, and has a pH level of 7-8;
- if it does not sizzle, it is mixed in another container with distilled water and baking soda: if there is a sizzle, most likely the soil is acidic with a level of pH 5-6.
- if there is still no reaction, the soil pH is probably fine.
A simple way to determine the PH of some weeds that live on the infield. If such plants as: field mint, common sorrel, field umbilicus, ivan-da-marya, plantain, horsetail, violet tricolor, meadow cornflower prevail, the soil is acidic
Field violet, meadow sage, alfalfa, field mustard and wild poppy indicate alkaline soils. If there is clover, mother-and-stepmother, nettle – the soil is neutral or alkaline.
Plants that, as a rule, settle on neutral ground: field radish, cornflower, nettle, mother-and-stepmother, bluegrass, buttercup, vegetable bodyak.
Planning of work in the garden
The bigger the garden, the more work awaits around it. It is better for a beginner to start gradually so as not to lose interest in the first season. As you gain experience, you can start larger projects every year.
In the beginning, you can plant one bed, later their number can be multiplied. It’s the same with buying plants. In the garden center, it is easy to be tempted by the assortment, and planting takes time, so they buy only what can be planted in the next day or two.
Convenient garden tool
A shovel is one of the most versatile gardening tools, and no garden is complete without a shovel and a fork for digging. With a hoe, for loosening the soil, they take care of decorative and household beds. In spring it is used for planting, in summer on flower beds, in autumn when harvesting and preparing the soil for winter.
Classic rakes are mainly used for leveling and preparing the soil before planting. For raking leaves, it is best to use special metal or plastic rakes.
Choose a garden hose with a spray nozzle of sufficient length so that it is convenient to penetrate into every part of the garden. Garden shears are used for pruning shrubs, perennials, vines and tree branches. Scissors will not cope with thick branches of shrubs and trees. Fruit trees are pruned in the spring, using a hand saw.
Important! When choosing a basic tool, you need to pay attention to quality. It should not only be comfortable, but also serve for many seasons.
High-quality equipment will greatly simplify the care of the garden. In addition to a lawn mower suitable for open flat spaces, you can stock up on a gasoline trimmer to trim grass and weeds around shrubs and trees. The basic equipment also includes a pruner, a bucket, and of course, good gardening gloves.
The garden can be beautiful at any time of the year. A common mistake for beginners is to plant too many annual plants at once, resulting in a beautiful garden, but it will literally die in one year. These plants die off every winter, and in the spring they have to be transplanted. However, perennials are plants that come back every year.
The combination of perennials with annuals will provide a beautiful and colorful garden all year round.
For undemanding and fast-growing perennials, a large part of the flowerbed should be allocated. Annuals are a suitable addition to perennials, as they can quickly fill the voids in the flowerbed. Perennials for the garden are unpretentious long–flowering plants. For an ever-changing look, they are combined to bloom at different times of the year.
Fresh plantings of shrubs and perennials require filling the space. Between young plantings, it is worth covering the ground with nonwoven fabric and sprinkling with gravel – this will save you from weeding weeds and ubiquitous grass. You can use bright annuals. These simple techniques will help not only to save time on the care of the site, but also to decorate the summer garden. Combinations of related colors and shades are pleasing to the eye.
In the garden, plants look better when they are repeated or grown in groups. One of the great ways to give the site a decorated look is to plant the same plants in different parts of the garden, slightly avoiding repetition at every corner (such a garden will look sloppy).
A beautiful and well-groomed lawn is an integral part of landscape design. Mowing, watering, aeration takes a lot of time. Instead, you can create a flower meadow that does not need to be mowed so often, it is more resistant to heat and drought and does not require fertilizers and watering.
A picturesque lawn with wildflowers will help you easily create a beautiful garden with your own hands.
While there is no experience, it is better to try to grow less demanding species from ornamental and useful plants. Annual plants can be bought in gardening in the spring or pre-grow them from seeds. Annuals are allowed to be planted directly on the flower bed.
Herbs are a great option to start with. They put them in a sunny place closer to the kitchen. The least demanding: lavender, sage, mint, oregano and thyme. Dill grows almost everywhere.
Vegetables from your own garden are always tastier than purchased ones. Since they are more demanding of nutrients, they add a little compost or fertilizers intended for vegetables. Peas and beans do not need fertilizer. Unpretentious vegetables: carrots, beets, parsley. Pumpkin and zucchini are well grown, Tomatoes are also popular with gardeners.
Berry bushes are the least demanding: red currants, blackberries and raspberries. Cherry trees are suitable among the trees, which blooms beautifully and ripens quickly. Choose plants that are resistant to a certain climate and easily tolerate frosts.