How to Prepare a New Gardening PlotHow to Prepare a New Gardening Plot
Getting rid of weeds and making the soil ready for planting is an important phase of setting up a new garden plot. Take note, the amount of time you will spend preparing your new garden plot will determine the amount of time you will require to carry out routine maintenance such as weeding especially during the growing season.
Question is . . . “which is the best way to set up a new garden plot?” In case you don’t know, consider yourself lucky as this is a detailed guide complete with tips to help you set up a new garden plot.
Material and Tools that you Will Need
To be able to set up a new garden plot you will need the following tools and materials for the preparation phase. They include:
• A spade, hoe or mattock.
• Garden rake made of steel.
• Sample kit for testing soil.
• A relatively long piece of string and wooden stakes.
• Herbicide, preferably glyphosate (optional).
• A garden fork or a rototiller.
What follows next is the actual preparation/setting up of the garden plot. It involves:
Choosing the Right Spot
While in the process of choosing the right spot for your garden, bear in mind that plants (vegetables and flowers) require a minimum of 6 hours exposure to sunlight daily. This should guide you in choosing the best spot, somewhere that is fairly leveled and has well-drained soils. Look for a spot that has thick grass growth and vigorous weeds as this normally serves as an indication of well-drained soils and high nutrients levels suitable for a garden set up.
Draw a Boundary and Get Rid of Any Competition From Plant Matter Around
Once you have spotted a potential area, mark the boundaries of the soon-to-be garden plot using the string and stakes. Go ahead to remove all forms of existing lawn using a spade to cut through to the manageable pieces. Add these to your compost heap for later use. Use the herbicide to get rid of weeds or pull them using bare hands with the help of a hoe or mattock in case you don’t have the herbicide.
Carry Out a Soil Test
To be certain that the vegetables or flowers you wish to grow in your garden won’t die as a result of being planted in soils deficient of specific vital nutrients or mineral salts carry out a soil test. Take a soil sample from your plot and send it to a lab for scrutiny by qualified officers who will check for its PH level among other aspects and consequently advise you on how to go about growing healthy vegetable and flowers on that particular soil type.
Make Necessary Amendments and Turn the Soil
Depending on the results of the soil test results you will be able to adjust soil PH accordingly by either raising its acidity or alkalinity or lowering both but only after taking measurements. At this point focus on improving soil fertility, its drainage in case it is clay soil and even adding organic material of between 1 and 2 inches high over the garden. These should include: rotten livestock manure decomposed fir barks etc from the compost heap you prepared earlier on. Incorporate all the added amendments into the soil using the garden fork breaking up any large clods of soil in the process and getting rid of rocks as well as roots from the soil.
Selecting a plot for vegetable growing
Before making your final selection of a new plot it is important to take time to carefully consider several important issues. The plot’s characteristics, as well as the relation to the other plots nearby in order for your plants to receive the best opportunity to grow successfully, are both vitally important.
Those plots that are only maintained on a part-time basis should be steered clear of because a plot nearby that is not well maintained can easily creep into your plot and before you know it the weeds they had are now yours and the perennial weeds are the hardest to get rid of so try and guard against them.
The wind speed and direction is of great importance as well. If there is going to be a lot of winds then fragile vegetable, flowers or fruits cannot be planted around the edges of the plot or even at the plot at all. There are some plants that do better with strong winds since strong winds also will stop certain insects from coming around and causing harm to the plants.
Some crops that do well in wind are both potatoes and carrots. Also, make sure that water is close by and plentiful since it is probably the most essential element to make your plot a successful one with lots of fruits and vegetables.
Shady plots have much more negatives than positives so if you can stay away from a shady one, all the better. Plants need all the sunshine they can get in order to be healthy and produce an abundant about of crop. So, stay away from tall buildings, large trees, high hedges, and shrubs.
Taking a look at the soil quality is another important aspect of choosing your plot. You need to know if it is rocky, hard, dry or been left abandoned and overgrown with nutrient sucking weeds. Soggy soil is not good either since it will be a condition that will hinder the planting of the plants and choosing a soggy one means you may have to put in a drainage system.
The level of security is also important. Is there a lockable gate where your plot is located and a strong fence. Since it would be very hard for you and your family to have all your hard work lost to vandalism so checking the security is an important key.
Useful Gardening Tips
Create enough time in advance to be able to fully engage yourself and any other person helping you in preparing the new garden plot. Always remember that grass and weeds are to be done away with only when the planting season nears. Also, make sure that you are involved in the soil testing processes in any possible way. As a result of this, you have a rough idea of your soil’s nutrient levels which will make it easier for you to practice gardening in that type of soil. In fact, make it a point to consult extensively with professionals as this way the garden plot you are preparing is most likely to turn out as you expect it.
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