Home Garden Tips & Tricks
Get my 5 Must Have Spring Home Garden Essentials!
It is that time of year to start getting our your seeds, seedlings, bulbs, shrubs and plants ready! What inspired me to start a home garden? Earlier this spring I went on a trip to the exquisite P. Allen Smith’s Garden Moss Mountain. This garden estate is located outside of Little Rock, Arkansas along to beautiful Arkansas River surrounded by lush green mountainsides. Here, Smith promotes the local-food movement, organic gardening, and the preservation of heritage poultry breeds.
It was the perfect inspirational moment I need to learn, explore and gain knowledge to create my own! Now I am sharing my tips & tricks for your home garden plan.
GARDEN PLANNING: It is important to start with sketching out the garden space. For our garden it is a 18×20 ft space with (6) raised planter beds and (1) long & low planter bed. We made sure to leave a 2ft border all the way around for walking through the garden as well as 2ft between each planter box for planting & harvesting. Also, we added in a water pipe that goes from our main hose to a faucet. Then we are able to connect a hose out there away from the house to water daily. After, getting everything in place we realized that the planters were getting “full” sun this time of year in Illinois and probably needed a reprieve from the summer heat. Therefore, we bought these sun shades that still allow water to come through but allow some shade from he hot sun. Also, we can take them down easily if we see our plants need a bit more sunlight. Check out Covers and All for shade ideas!
SEED & SEEDLING SELECTION: Now is time for the fun part of picking out the seeds you want to grow in your garden! I started with a wish list of all the vegetables and flowers I wanted, then I started to do research on what can grow in my zone. Planting zones are used as guidelines to determine the hardiness and survivability of various trees and plant species in each geographic area based on local climate. The USDA determined the zones in which you can research through Nature Hills, in which you type in your zip code to find your zone. For Illinois we are in zone 5.
Now you can list out the best vegetable seeds: Heirloom & Cherry Tomatoes, Cucumber, Squash, Lettuce, Spinach and Rainbow Carrots. Then, for the flowers: Dahlia, Tulips, Sweet Williams, Stock, Zinnias Larkspur and Chinese Forget-Me-Not (I had to include California Poppy). The final step is fix out which seeds work well growing together as well as if it should be in a high or low planter bed.
BONUS! I am loving my new gardening clogs from Hunter, check them out here!
Happy gardening season and to find out more read our blog: Local Flowers & Vegetable Gardens