Preparing The Garden Space

You have decided you want to start a garden and grow your own herbs and veggies, now what? Before you rush out to buy your seedlings you need to get your garden space ready. There are a ton of sites on the internet that will give you good information on what particular plants need and we don’t plan to reinvent the wheel here. Over on the side is a collection of links to sites that have good information. The aim of this post is give some tips on getting your space ready for planting, we will talk about the specific requirements for particular plants when we do blog posts about them.

Tip #1 – know what your plants need and prepare the soil accordingly ie do they need a lot of composted matter, are they heavy feeders? Blueberries for example need lots of peat moss dug in where they are going to be planted to get the soil pH right. We mostly use chicken manure, blood and bone and seaweed extract (not all at once). We are also looking to do better on the composting front and recycle kitchen and garden waste into a useful soil improver.

Tip #2 – check how much sunlight your proposed garden will get. Most vegetables need 6 hours sunlight a day but many will tolerate shade. Also remember in a Queensland summer temperatures can hit 40°C or more so shade cloth might be required.

Tip #3 – plan your watering system before you plant. Hardware stores have a huge array of irrigation systems for the home gardener and in these days of water bills it is a great way to make sure you are not wasting water. Mulching well is another great way to save water.

Tip #4 – automate where possible. Gardens are a lot work and we are alternately busy or lazy so automating what we can ensures simple things like the garden getting watered. We put in a computerized watering system years ago and it was one of the best things we ever did. Husband has dabbled in hydroponics over the years too and has automated timers to turn pumps on and off in case he forgets.

Tip #5 – have an organized work space where your garden tools and supplies are kept. Nothing worse than spending an hour looking for something because it was never put away! You can also see quickly if you are running low of particular garden supplies.

What about you? Do you have any tips for planning your garden space that you would like to share?