The Q&A Archives: How to start my garden

Question: I need tolearn how to start my own garden. I never plant flowers before I don't have any idea and what to plant in the front of my house. I love flowers. I need your advice and how to start from soil to type of flowers to start. Thank you. Maricarmen.

Answer: To prepare the area for planting you would need to remove any existing vegetation either by digging it out or using an herbicide containing glyphosate. Read and carefully follow all of the label directions. Next, loosen the soil down about a foot deep, work in a generous amount of organic matter such as compost, well rotted leaves, or well aged stable manure/bedding, then level the garden and rake it smooth.

You should also run some basic soil tests to see if you need to fertilize and if you need to lime to adjust the pH. Your local county extension should be able to help you with the soil testing and interpreting the results. They may also have some suggestions as to the best varieties to grow in your local area.

What specific flowers to grow would depend on whether the area is sunny or shady, and how much space you have. A few easy to grow, sun loving annuals you might like include marigold, ageratum, and zinnias. Some easy perennials for a sunny area include coreopsis, daylily, Phlox paniculata "David", rudbeckia, purple coneflower, and sedum.

Enjoy your garden this summer!

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