Backyard Gardening Project Basics

bakyard landscaping, backyard landscaping ideas, backyard landscaping design, gardening, home & gardenOnce we purchase a home most of us get into backyard landscaping (or frontyard landscaping for that matter) because we want to improve our new property. Usually, a secondary goal is to create an oasis of calm and beauty to provide a refuge from a hectic world.

It isn’t that difficult to achieve both goals if you know a few of the basics of gardening before beginning your project. What follows here are some of the things that, when thought out before hand, almost guarantees your success.

Dirt is not just dirt
Test your soil prior to starting your project. Testing the soil will determine if anything should be eliminated or added to the soil to make it more healthy. Adjusting your soil’s chemical properties before planning will go a long way in having happier and healthier plants.

Make a new plan, Stan
Before beginning your backyard gardening project put a a plan on paper to be sure you have focal points for all the different seasons. Choose plants that bloom during different times of the year, and are local to the area. Don’t forget about trees: use trees with interesting foliage or evergreens to keep your yard looking lively all year long.

Bite off only what you can chew
It’s hard to landscape your entire property at once. If turning your entire yard into a garden is the ultimate goal, divide the job into a series of smaller projects. Not only will the smaller projects be easier to manage, they will also be completed in stages which provides the option to change plans quickly and easily if any changes in your design come up as you progress.

Choose Plants wisely
Choose your plants carefully. The decisions you make now will affect how well your backyard gardening project turns out. Ideally, you want plants whose growth requirements mesh well with your climate and available planting space. Be certain of how much water, light and room each plant needs. Taking time to do adequate planning in the beginning will save a lot of work and wasted effort later on.

Help is where you find it
Internet landscaping and gardening resources are often overlooked by people who want to get right to work on their yards or gardens. Not only does the online world offer at lot of excellent advice (like this site!), but many online retailers such as Amazon offer everything you need in the way of supplies at greatly reduced prices.

Make it a point to talk to a professional prior to starting on your backyard gardening project. Although you may not need their help on your whole plan, a consultation is well worth it to prevent making costly mistakes This is especially important if you have never landscaped before.

Set a reasonable budget
If you are starting your backyard gardening and landscaping project from scratch, there is a lot you are going to need to buy. From shovels, rakes, and other necessary equipment right down to the fertilizer, soil conditioners and the plants themselves. This is where doing research online can be a great help. Once you have made the decisions on how big your project is and what you want to plant, go online to get an idea of the costs involved. With this estimate, set your budget and resist the temptation to go over.

Although this all may sound complicated it really isn’t. Picking plants that thrive in your particular area means that mother nature is going to be on your side. Really, all you have to do is provide the right home and do some maintenance from time to time. Oh, and enjoy your new backyard!

Bringing A Small Garden Design To Life

small garden design, small garden, backyard garden designs, backyard landscapingOk, you have a little bit of space and your thought is that it will be best put to use by turning it into a garden. You probably have an idea of what you would like it to look like when you’re done but you might not have a real firm plan to how to get there. Hopefully, this will help with that because any small garden design can be made a lot more enjoyable with just a few tips.

As the saying goes, you need to “begin at the beginning”. For your brand new small garden design this means two things:

Select the right plants for your small garden design

First, some homework needs to be done to find out (if you don’t already know) what species of plants will grow best where you live and in the soil conditions you have. Most of this information is easy to come by online, or at a local nursery. And don’t worry too much about the soil conditions; a lot can be done to turn even the worst soil into a great garden bed.

Once this has all been sorted out the next step is to decide on what plants you would like to have in your new small garden. While you don’t necessarily have to decide on every plant, having an idea of what you are going to plant will help a lot in determining the best layout design.

Layout the small garden design on paper first

So now that you have a pretty good idea of what plants are going to make up your new small garden, and how much space they need to grow, the next step is to plan the layout. I strongly urge that you do this on paper first, before you start shoveling dirt around. An hour or two spent with some graph paper will prevent a lot of going back and fixing things later.

It is at this point that you start making decisions on what other elements (besides the plants of course) should be added to the new small garden. The possibilities are endless, limited only by the amount of space and budget you have. Retaining walls, water features, seating areas, decorative paths and a host of other options can be included. Adding them into your plans at this stage, before purchasing, saves time, effort, and money.

This is also where you can decide what type of irrigation system you will need. Irrigation begins with you holding a hose on a regular schedule all the way up to professionally installed underground systems. Again, some homework is going to be needed before a final decision.

Once all these decisions are firm, now it is time to get to work and bring your new small garden design from imagination to reality.

Keep a gardening journal

One final point that needs to be said: I can’t stress enough the importance of starting a garden journal at the beginning of the process and maintaining it for years to come. As sure as the sun coming up tomorrow you will have some plants that do better than other for no apparent reason. Keeping a journal of everything you do in planting, watering, weeding, and caring for your small garden provides you a written record of what you did right and, more importantly, what you may have done wrong. This information is invaluable as your new small garden matures over the coming seasons.

That’s it! It is now time for you to get started with your own garden design.