New for Your Garden
With a new gardening season underway, this is your chance to break from your normal routine and try something new in your garden. Here are ten great ideas of what you can do differently this year.
- Don’t overthink it. Sometimes planting a simple container, with one or two plants, can far surpass the beauty of a complex container garden. Using the common geranium or petunia may seem boring, but they are so common because they are reliable. Use these plants as your fillers and try something new and different as your accent plant.
- Grow herbs. Herbs seem like an easy way to get into edible gardening, but no matter how basic they appear, herbs add great fragrance and taste to any garden.
- Try container edible gardens. If you don’t have a huge yard, or any yard at all, container gardens work well for many edibles. The key is to know the habit of your edible. For tomatoes, you will need a support or cage for the plant as it grows. For beans, you will need a trellis for the plants to grow up, and for cucumbers, try growing a bush variety to cut down on the need for supports. Peppers and strawberries are always an easy one to grow in containers. Just remember that perennial edible plants, like strawberries, rhubarb and blackberries for example, will need to be planted in the ground over the winter to come back the following year. You can also place the containers up against the house and bury them in mulch to help them winter over.
- Build raised beds. Along with edible gardening in containers, you can easily build a raised bed for your edibles. Raised beds also make great places to plant annuals as well. Incorporating these beds into areas of your yard that lack interest can help fill in the empty spaces of your yard.
- Plant with food. Along with the previous ideas, incorporating edible plants in with your annuals can add a new texture or fragrance that you would not normally get. Using herbs like dill can give a light and airy feel to a pot, while a rosemary topiary will not only give your planting structure, but an awesome scent as well. Just be sure that when you mix edibles with annuals, you feed your plants with an organic fertilizer that is safe to consume.
- Use the whole color wheel. There’s lots of green in the foliage we plant, but breaking away from that can help add depth to any garden. Plants like heuchera or coral bells, coleus, blue-green hostas and purple sweet potato vine, are just a few examples of colorful foliage you can use.
- Strategic planting. When planting your garden beds, especially with perennials, keep in mind the bloom time of the plants. You want to make sure you have flowers blooming throughout the year and not just during the early summer or the fall. Incorporating perennials with different bloom times will help give you an even look of color throughout the season.
- Plant for the bees. Despite their bad reputation for stinging, bees are a vital part of our gardens. Incorporating plants that attract these little guys can help the overall health of your yard. Planting natives in your yard, and having a water feature, can help keep the bees happy, and will most likely attract some beautiful birds, too.
- Plant for the monarchs. Monarchs are another pollinator we should be working to attract to our gardens. Plants in the milkweed family are always a safe bet for these, as well as butterfly bushes, salvia and alliums.
- Plant in the fall. There’s a lot going on in the spring. With the warm weather finally arriving, various sports games every weekend, and graduation parties to attend, finding time to garden can be hard. Waiting to do your perennial planting in the fall is one way to be sure you still get done what you need but don’t necessarily have to spend the time in your garden all at once. Planting in the fall can be cheaper, too, as many plants are put on sale later in the season.