With the seed I hold, a garden you’ll behold

A lot of dirt, a bucket of worms and a sack of manure—sounds repulsive, right? But in the hands of professional landscape designers and contractors, these three can transform a bare land into a work of art. Want to try landscape gardening? Just make sure you are willing to make like Christina Aguilera and get dirty.

To start, one must first select what kind of garden he would like to have; vegetable, herb or flower garden. Actually, the list goes on (I only put the three most common). In this article, I’ll be tackling each briefly.

Vegetable Garden.Healthy living starts from within. So, why not try growing your own vegetables? Picture yourself munching on a BLT with fresh, crisp lettuce—healthy and tasty! So one must beginning planning (you can do this as early as winter). One must know what variety of vegetable to grow. Organizations like the All America Selection will provide you with information to help you pick the ideal vegetable. You may throw the seed packets provided you have read the same. There are instructions with regard the maturity of the plants. Annuals, biennials or perennials: Tomatoes are example of annuals, those that complete their cycle in a span of 1 year; Parsley for the biennial and asparagus for perennials.

Start with a small piece of land for your vegetable garden from there, once you get the hang of it, you can expand your reach. Know the pH and fertility level of the soil. You can do this by taking a sample to your Department of Agriculture local extension service or by buying a soil testing kit. Vegetables develop well in sandy loam soil (neutral to slightly acidic). If you’re stuck with the clay type, use fertilizer/compost to rejuvenate the soil—or at least make it conducive for vegetables to grow in it. If you’re going to loosen the soil with the use of rototiller, remember not to over do for it may cause problems with the drainage. Note that natural fertilizer is always better than the commercial ones. You don’t want chemicals rubbing on your produce.

Rule of thumb: Always keep the lowest plants (vegetables, herbs and flowers) toward the South side and taller ones to the North. Another is that when you add organic matter like grass clippings, dry leaves or vegetable scraps, this can improve the oxygen and water-holding capacity of the soil.

Herb Garden.An herb garden need not be in a huge lot, a typical flowering pot will do. Most people with limited space use this method. From basil to thyme, most herbs are easy to grow, they just need the proper attention. Knowing how little or how much sunlight they need is a foot in the right direction. Imagine seasoning your food with sprig thyme or a handful of chopped parsley or a bouquet garni, all freshly picked from your garden (yum!) These simple add-ons would turn a bland meal into a delectable cuisine.

But before you raid your local nursery the following needs a little consideration: check the areas that receive the most sunlight. Four hours would be the minimum for satisfactory development. Thyme, laurel, basil, parsley, dill and sage are a few of the ‘sun-loving’ herbs while oregano, spearmint and peppermint are those that thrive in shady areas. Classify herbs—whether they are annual or perennial, make sure that you have an idea on the herbs’ sizes once matured and its growth patterns. Of course, grow the herbs that are palatable to your taste.

Last but not the least, flower garden. Pick the ideal spot with enough sunlight and proper drainage. As mentioned in the previous paragraphs, soil testing must be made. All soil types may be improved by adding compost 3 to 4 inches over everything will do. Aside from testing the soil, one must also consider treating it with an environment friendly pesticide to avoid insects, weeds and other life forms from destroying the flora. When you plant, you either get the seeds (grow it from scratch) or buy seedlings (these are the ones with established roots waiting to be transferred.) With a spade dig a foot deep hole, removing rocks, weeds and other fragments along the way. It’s time to plant! Though one should take into account not to over crowd the seedlings. Adequate spacing is also needed.

You can also add cobble stone walks, brick patios and ponds to accent your garden. A landscape contractor could easily give you any estimate for your required service. There are a lot of plants and gardening ideas that may be obtained from industry veterans.

Sun, soil, water, air, fertilizer, a little patience and a handful of bugs, all of these contribute to the beauty that is fine gardening.