At Martin’s Home & Garden, we are as anxious as everyone else to get our hands in the dirt and begin our planting for the season. If you’ve never tried your hand at gardening before, make this year your year! We’ve got some tips to help you get started.
Know Your Terms
Two words that you’ll hear the most often when it comes to gardening are “annual” and “perennial.” These describe the life cycle of a plant. A plant that’s an annual only lives for one growing season and will not come back on its own. A perennial will go dormant during the winter, then come back to life each spring. Annuals typically have longer blooming seasons and more vibrant blooms, but you will have to re-plant them each year.
Know Your Site
Take a look at the place you want to put your garden. How many hours of sunlight does it get each day? Are there places where water tends to pool when it rains? What is your soil like? Plants have different requirements. Some like more sun, some like more shade. Some can live in almost any type of soil, some really need their soil to be amended to be more fertile or more well-draining. Before buying a plant, check its tag to make sure your garden will meet its needs.
Be sure to also keep in mind the size of your new garden. If yours is smaller, you’ll want to find plants that have a smaller mature height and spread. Many plants have dwarf varieties that are better suited for your space but still give you the beauty of their full-size counterparts.
Another thing you should know about your site is your planting zone. The system of planting zones was created by the Department of Agriculture to help you know which plants will thrive and be be perennial in your area. Here, we are in zone 7A.
Know Your Plan
Do you want a vegetable garden? A flower garden? A mix of both? For your first garden, you may want to keep it simple and focus on one or the other. You can also think of a central theme to help focus your garden plan and narrow down the plants you’ll include. Maybe you just plant blooms of all the same color, plants that attract butterflies, or plants that remind you of the flavors or colors of pizza.
Know What You’re Up For
Take some time to think about the maintenance you’re willing to do in your new garden. Don’t want to water often? Find plants that are more drought-tolerant. Don’t want to deadhead your plants? If you don’t want to manually cut off spent blooms, find plants that are self-cleaning.
Don’t be intimidated! Our team at Martin’s Home & Garden is always happy to answer questions and guide you each step of the way as you discover your green thumb. Happy planting!
This blog post was also published as an article in The Murfreesboro Post on March 6, 2019.