Summer officially arrives on June 21, which means you should be thinking about your summer garden.

Have you ever dreamed of growing your own tomatoes? Lima beans? Herbs? Maybe walking through a rose garden or staring at some beautiful yellow daffodils when you feel tired and stressed?

Starting a garden in your own backyard isn’t as daunting a task as it may seem. With the help of some pre-planning, you might just be able to pick your own basil once the warmer months arrive or bite into a big, juicy, vine-ripened tomato best way to begin a spring garden is to start by deciding what
plants you want to grow.

Check the soil for proper fertility and drainage; check the location for proper sun for the plants you’re growing. Also, start out small. Place the garden close to your house so you’ll remember to check it daily. Amend the soil with compost before planting. Buying transplants at the local garden center instead of starting with seeds.

Once everything is planted, mulch with an organic mulch to conserve
moisture and keeps weeds away.


What exactly is mulch? Mulch is any material placed over soil in the garden. It’s designed to retain moisture, deter weeds and keep the soil from eroding. The benefits of mulch are plentiful:

For the busy gardener, mulch is a great time-saving device because it helps to prevent weeds from sprouting in the garden. In addition, it can keep the soil moist, reducing the need for constant watering. Mulch will enrich the existing soil and will prevent rain and other elements from washing it away. Besides, a thick layer of mulch looks much better in a garden than bare soil.

Mulch can come from several sources. You can either buy mulch through your landscaper or garden center, or you can make your own by shredding leaves, sticks, grass, bark, and other organic material. By doing this instead of throwing the material out with the trash, you’re recycling and saving the environment from more landfill. Manure also makes great mulch, but many people shy away from it because of the smell.

When choosing mulch, there are several factors to take into consideration, for instance, the type of plant, the climate and even the type of soil underneath. Your gardening expert can help you choose the type of mulch that’s right for your garden. The instructions on the bag are detailed and informative. Some mulch is dyed black or red to look nicer in the garden. If this isn’t for you, non-dyed mulch is readily available, and most landscapers and nurseries prefer to vend the dye free variety.

Mulch basics

To reap maximum benefits, a layer of mulch should be 2 to 4 inches thick. A coarse mulch will help to keep weeds from erupting in your garden. A fine mulch will decompose quickly, leading to more frequent mulching.

Before mulching, remove all weeds and give the soil a good, thorough soaking.

Mulch should never be incorporated into the soil as this can hinder a plant’s growth. Instead, place mulch only on top of the soil. A thick layer of newspaper works as mulch. Since most newspapers have vegetable-based inks, there’s no need to worry about damage to the environment.

If you’re starting a garden, don’t forget to mulch. Your plants and soil will be much healthier and your garden as a whole will look nicer.

Ask for help

When it comes to starting a garden, do you need an expert to help or can you go it alone? It’s best for a beginning gardener to have a mentor — a friend, or family member to help you get started is a good bet.

Depending on the size and scope of the garden you can install a simple garden in just an afternoon.  In terms of keeping your garden looking tip-top, if mulched and looked after regularly, you’ll only need a few hours a week to keep it looking great.

Also, regular, deep watering and supplemental fertilization once a month during the growing season helps.

Gardens not only increase the value of the home up to 15 percent, they are a place of calm and peace. As well as a place to unwind at the end of the day, reconnect with nature, and teach kids about the food we eat often found in our own backyards.