Whether you want to grow flowers, vegetables, or fruit, planting a garden can be an enriching experience. Get ready to plant your own garden by reading the following tips and our guide to the 5 best gardening tools to use while you garden.
Gardens that produce all season: Most plants only produce vegetables and flowers for a limited period of time. If you only choose one variety of plants, you'll only be able to enjoy your garden for a short period of time. When you're gardening, pay attention to when the plants and flowers produce and choose ones that produce and bloom at different times to keep your garden growing all season. You may even want to look for plants with a full-season period, like herbs for your vegetable garden and roses for your flower beds.
Vegetables you'll eat: One of the most common mistakes people make when planting a vegetable garden is to plant vegetables they don't eat or to plant more than they can eat. Rather than plant the basics, like tomatoes and peas, think about what you want to harvest from your garden and which vegetables you'll be able to use. You'll also want to pay attention to how much each plant produces and make sure you'll have enough without having too much.
Perennials and annuals: When you're planning your flower garden, it's important to plan for the years ahead as well as the current year. Many annual flowers make beautiful additions to your garden, but they need to be replanted year after year. Semi-annuals typically last only two years. Choose the annual and semi-annual blooms you want in your garden, and then choose some perennials that complement them. This will keep your flower beds in bloom year after year and provide them with color while your annuals are establishing themselves in the spring.
Mixed gardens: A popular trend in gardening is to mix flower and vegetable gardens. Your flower beds are the perfect place to plant a few herbs and vegetables, like basil, tomatoes, and peppers, especially if you don't want a full vegetable garden. Similarly, a few flowers mixed into your vegetable garden will add color and variety. This mixed-garden method is particularly useful if you have limited space but want to grow both flowers and vegetables.
Garden with a goal: Designing your garden around a goal can help you narrow down what types of plants to choose as well as open up more ideas for new plants. For example, if you want to home brew beer, you could start a garden with various types of hops. If you love chips and salsa, you could plan a salsa garden with peppers, cilantro, and tomatoes. If you want to support bee populations or even keep bees yourself, you can plan a garden with plants that bees love, like lavender, sunflowers, and hollyhocks.
Published July 19, 2012
Updated April 3, 2015