Many moons ago, I used to manage and write on a gardening blog. Because we lived in an apartment at the time, much of what I wrote pertained to container gardens.

Over a year ago we bought our first house. I was beyond excited to have my own yard to cultivate and plant a real garden. The first Summer here, I still did containers though. I took the first year and just observed, so I could figure out where best to plant things.

I have discovered that this is an uncommon trait for anyone other than a gardener. Even now I find I am going to have to fix some of the landscaping mistakes done by the previous owner before I plant anything.

Everyone loves flowers, and every home owner knows that a few trees and shrubs can do wonders for your property. Most people get so excited about planting though, they don’t do much planning. I totally understand the excitement, but a bit of planning goes a long way and will help you enjoy your garden more. Here are some helpful things to consider ahead of time.

  1. Think about how it will look in ten years. Trees and shrubs will be twice their height or more. Take care not to block pretty views, or obstruct walk ways. Anything that has the potential to grow over six feet, do not plant close to buildings or side walks.
  2. Research what you want to plant. Knowing the light, water, and soil requirements will help weed out what can and can not be planted in your landscape. Special care and pruning requirements, if there are any, can also help you determine if it will be a good fit.
  3. Use weed control methods with care. Use garden fabric only where you don’t want anything to grow, at all, ever. Not only do they block deep root growth, they also impair drainage. They are good to use around small shrubs, or under a rock bed or mulch. Keep in mind however, that over time, dirt will build up on top and be a haven for nothing more than weeds, grass and mud. Weed and grass killing sprays, even natural ones, can also keep flowers from growing and poison the ground. Use these in a direct manner, not over a generalized area.
  4. Less is more. Don’t get carried away, and keep the first point in mind. When in doubt, go for small, well planned areas that are easy to maintain.


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