If you’re going to start a garden, there are several things to consider before, during, and after the gardening season. Here are our some of our favorite tips for homeowners in the Charlotte area.
1. Decide what you are going to garden
Whether you’re going to start a small garden or a large garden, having a plan sets yourself up for success. If you’re brand new to gardening, we recommend using a gardening theme. For example, do a salsa garden or a salad garden. This allows you to have a plan of what plants you need and how much of those plants you need.
2. Plot the perfect spot for sunlight
Knowing how much sun the specific plants you’re going to garden need is crucial for a successful garden. Most plants require a substantial amount of sunlight, so picking an open spot in the yard is usually a good idea.
3. Don’t forget the water
In addition to number 2 (having enough sunlight), make sure to remember the water. Not only being close to the garden, but regularly watering the garden is essential for healthy plants. Some plants need up to a gallon of water per week. A general rule to follow is to stick a finger in the soil near the plant about one knuckle deep. If the soil is dry, your plants are thirsty and need more water.
4. Your soil cannot be overlooked
Your soil is your foundation of your garden. If you’re wanting to have success with your garden, your soil is not the place to skimp on time or budget. Without great soil, it’s extremely difficult for plants to thrive. Can they survive with bad soil? Possibly. However, to get the “Pinterest perfect” garden we all dream of, the soil is where it all starts. Healthy soil contains a good balance of natural minerals, organic matter/compost, air (well aerated soil), and water. Because of the clay in the soil in Charlotte, you may have to aerate the ground (using a rototiller), if you’re planting directly into the ground. This helps prevent the clay from retaining too much water and drowning the roots. If you can nail the soil, you’re off to a great start for a healthy garden.
5.Know your frost dates
It seems to vary year by year, but planting before the last frost is risky business for your garden. Planting the garden prematurely and before the last frost could completely kill the plants. The old wives’ tale is to wait until after Mother’s Day, and that’s usually a good rule to follow here in Charlotte. Depending on what you’re planting, you also want to keep an eye on the first frost date in the fall to ensure to harvest and/or bring in the plants before they’re killed off by the frost.
There are so many more gardening tips that we’d love to share, but we don’t want to spoil all of the fun! If you follow these tips for charlotte homeowners, you’re sure to have a solid foundation on an amazing garden. One bonus tip for making it to the end–remember to have fun! Make sure to share your garden photos with us on Facebook for us to check out!