Springtime Tips – Planting a New Bed in Your Garden
One of the most exciting tasks for gardeners to perform is the planting out of a new border or bed. Once its done, there’s a real sense of achievement. Gardeners will view the fruits of their labour with pride, when the plants mature and the colourful effect can be viewed against the backdrop of an aluminum fence or wall around the garden.
The planting may never work out quite as planned, but nothing is ever wasted! This years niggles will be turned into next year’s gardening triumph, when a gardener’s experience and skill in designing borders or beds grows.
Planning your Planting
Some gardeners pitch in straight away and put in their plants without too much fuss or thought. Others like to think about the arrangement, how it will spread out and how much room there is in the bed between lawn and aluminum fence for example. This is an important consideration, as too many plants in a bed will take light away from shorter plants and they will die off and a too crowded bed will rarely display plants to their best advantage.
It is wise to make a list of plants and their flowering seasons, so that all year round interest can be achieved. A list will also prevent impulse buying at the garden centre, so gardeners can keep control of their budget for their projects.
Important Points to Consider
No matter how little experience a gardener has at drawing, it is always best to jot down on paper, how the design should look. The most important, first item on the list is the colour scheme and which plants fall into it throughout the seasons. Gardeners should ensure that plants of sympathetic colours are planted together and obvious clashes should be avoided. Also, gardeners need to bear in mind the location of their bed: is it going to be well aired through the spars of their aluminum fence or will a wall or wooden fence panel be causing issues with drainage, light and space?
The colour of the backdrop is equally important. No gardener wants to see their plants simply “vanish” against the same colour background of a fence or wall. DIY centres provide free colour cards for those who like to decorate their homes – why not use them to decide what scheme would look good against the backdrop of your green, blue or dark brown fence?
Buying the Plants for your Bed
Once the plan is drawn up, gardeners should try to purchase all the plants needed for their design in one go. Planting out in batches is never satisfactory, as the gaps this leaves can be large and unsightly. Soil might even be eroded in larger, bare patches. Either propagate or buy the plants needed for the design.
Preparing the Ground well prior to Planting
It is best to prepare the ground well in advance, preferably several months in advance, so the soil can settle down and all weeds can be dealt with, as and when they emerge. Large clods of earth should be broken down. The perfect time for soil preparation is spring or autumn. Gardeners should avoid working the soil, when the ground is wet. When the conditions are dry enough, start your work. If the ground is still a little too wet, use a wooden plank to stand on while working the soil.
For complicated designs it is advisable to use string and pegs to mark out the planting, as it creates a grid over the bed. Using sand is another method or using spray paint.