Gardening 101

Whether you garden for relaxation, food, or to beautify your yard, this gardening 101 article outlines the basics, and will help you to turn your outdoor space into an inviting garden oasis.

Gardening 101

Gardening is a relaxing and rewarding activity, whether you’re growing your favourite vegetables or creating a colourful, fragrant environment your entire family can enjoy. If you have a modest yard, you could plant flowers and shrubs on the perimeter, and install a small raised-bed vegetable garden to grow your favourite greens. With a large yard, you can use a mix of trees, shrubs, flowers and lawn furniture to establish different activity zones for family play, cozy seating or outdoor dining. And, of course, you could plant a much larger vegetable garden to keep your family healthy and fed. 

Garden Tool Basics & Tips

The right tools will make it easier to prepare and maintain your garden. Essential tools include a garden spade for turning the soil and planting shrubs and trees. You’ll also need a rake with stiff tines for spreading soil and mulch, plus a soft, fan-shaped rake for clearing leaves. Hand tools such as a trowel, weeder and pruning shears are used for planting and regular garden weeding. And while not a tool, gardening gloves are another must have to protect your hands and allow you to work at your best.
 
Gardening Tips:
• When planning your garden, research the location and care requirements of each plant you're considering
• Sun-loving plants generally need six to eight hours of sun a day
• Choose a location for your garden that's easily accessible for regular maintenance and harvesting
• Draw a layout of your garden before buying plants so you’ll know how many plants to buy
• Gardens benefit from nutrient-rich, well-drained soil, so prepare for planting by turning the soil, removing weeds and adding organic material such as peat moss or compost
• Water regularly according to your plants' requirements
• Fertilize when preparing the garden and add plant food throughout the growing season
• Plant a variety of perennials that bloom at different times to have colour all season long

Flower Gardens

A little planning goes a long way to creating a flourishing flower garden. Be sure to check that the sun requirements of the plants you choose match your garden location. Many flowers do well in full sun, while others thrive in partial shade. Perennials are a one-time purchase and many are relatively easy to maintain. Annual flowers are a great way to add colour because they bloom all season long. Before planting, improve the soil with compost, and if there's too much clay or sand, add a generous top layer of black earth. 
 

Vegetable Gardens

When planning your vegetable garden, choose a location that receives at least six hours of sun each day and has good soil drainage. You should let your taste preferences and diet needs guide your planting decisions, because, after all, you're growing food for you and your family. Lettuces and other greens grow quickly and don’t require much maintenance. You may not need to plant many tomatoes, peppers or squash since they keep producing throughout the season. On the other hand, vegetables such as carrots and radishes produce only once. Avoid crowding by considering the space each plant needs and how tall it will grow.

Landscaping & Garden Sheds

Landscaping your yard entails more than simply planting trees, shrubs and flowers. It can encompass many other elements, including a deck, patio, gazebo, outdoor pool, children's playset, patio and garden furniture and walkways. To ensure all-weather enjoyment, you should consider sun exposure, terrain and function. Hills, shady areas and narrow side yards are ideal for trees, shrubs, perennials and lawn furniture. Evergreens and shrubs look great and also work to muffle neighbourhood noise and add privacy.
 
A garden shed or storage box can add functionality and feng shui to your yard. Consider whether a shed made of steel, resin or wood best matches your outdoor decor. A small shed will hold your garden tools, but you’ll need to go bigger to store outdoor furniture and toys, or to create a workspace. Install shelving to store your gardening supplies, and add a workbench to create a great multipurpose shed for your family’s outdoor activities. 
 

Mulch

Mulch acts as a protective barrier for your garden: it moderates temperature, conserves water and, best of all, helps control weeds. You can choose coloured mulch to add flair and a professional touch to you garden setting. Mulch is composed of organic material such as bark chips, coconut husks or compost. When mulch breaks down, it helps improve the condition of the soil by enriching it with minerals and other essential elements.
 

Herb Gardens

Herbs are a staple in the kitchen but also add colour, texture and fragrance to your home and garden. You should plant herbs in accessible containers such as window boxes or in a garden near the house, so you can get to them easily while cooking. Herbs are a natural addition to a vegetable garden, but they also work well in flower gardens as green accents. When planting your herbs, be sure they have enough room to expand and won't be shaded by tall plants. 

Perennials vs. Annuals

Annuals such as petunias, pansies, impatiens and marigolds add a pop of colour to your garden. They're also ideal for your planters and hanging baskets. Since annuals bloom for just a single season, you must plant new ones every spring. Perennials, in contrast, come back year after year, growing and spreading continuously. You can start perennials from bulbs or seeds, or in spring from young plants. Many perennials, including tulips, daffodils and hyacinth, have relatively short blooming periods, so plan your garden to have some of your perennials blooming at all times from spring to fall. 

Shrubs

Shrubs add colour and texture to your yard. Many varieties have short bloom times, and spring is generally when they show their colours, though some shrubs display colourful leaves for the entire season. You can choose shrubs with berries to attract birds, or shrubs with flowers to draw butterflies. Lilacs, roses, honeysuckle and hydrangeas are examples of flowering shrubs. Before planting, check that your yard meets the shrub’s climate, soil and sunlight requirements. Careful annual pruning will keep your shrubs healthy and vibrant so that they come back year after year.

Raised Garden Beds

Raised-bed gardening puts less strain on your back, reduces weed growth and helps extend your growing season. A raised-bed garden lifts soil from six inches to three feet above ground level via a soil-filled frame made from wood, rock, brick, concrete blocks or plastic. With a raised-bed garden, you can more easily control drainage and soil compactness, so vegetable production increases. 
 
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This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.

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