a new garden? Nows the time to think about location -- before you
start tilling! Here are some things to consider.
and many flowers need full sun to thrive and produce their best. (Full
sun means at least 6 hours of direct sun during the day.)
the spot in your yard that has the best soil (see below).
Protection from wind. Strong
winds dry out plants and soil, and can topple tall plants like corn
will need supplemental watering during dry spells, so locate
your garden near a water source.
may not have this ideal spot. So if youll be tilling a new garden,
whats most important? Number one is sunlight. You can improve
soil and build windbreaks, but you cant move the sun! If you want
to grow sun-loving vegetables and annual flowers, choose the sunniest
spot you have.
The next factor to
consider is soil. You may be able to distinguish the quality of
your soil by looking at your lawn. If it looks lush and healthy, then
the soil supporting it is probably good for a garden. Don't pick the spot
where the lawn is the worst, and think that you can get out of reseeding
it by locating your garden there. Also, avoid low spots that stay wet
in the spring.
is a little harder to plan for, but if you have the choice, choose a spot
that is protected from your areas prevailing winds. If your worst
winds come from the north, then a garden on the south edge of a row of
trees will receive some protection. (Just be sure your windbreak doesnt
shade your garden.) You can set up a snow fence or plant some low shrubs
to help break the wind without sacrificing sunlight.
that proper watering is crucial, so be sure you have a hose that
will reach your garden. Soaker hoses and drip irrigation systems save
water and time, so consider installing them before you plant.
ideal vegetable garden location is a gentle south-facing slope that
gets at least 6 hours of full sun, with rich loamy soil and protection
from strong winds.
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garden doesnt get full sun, you have three options.
1. You can grow
sun-loving plants there anyway, and accept the diminished results
you're likely to get.
2. You can forego
the sun-lovers, and plant more shade-tolerant crops such as greens
and root crops, or flowers such as impatiens.
3. You can grow
sun-lovers in containers on the porch or wherever you do have full
grow well in light to full shade.
are some good choices for an annual flower garden in a shady spot.
shade: pansy, primrose, alyssum, lobelia, torenia, mimulus, fuchsia
it seems logical to plant shade-loving flowers under trees, this
doesn't always work well. Tree roots --
especially those of shallow-rooted trees like maples -- will
often outcompete the flowers for water and nutrients.
the soil under pine trees is often too acidic for annual flowers.
Instead of planting directly in the ground, brighten up the area
under these trees with large planters of flowers.