10 Steps To Create A Garden In Your Yard

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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Are you thinking of converting your backyard into a verdant paradise that is green most of the year-round? This is one of the most fulfilling and rewarding activities or goals anyone can initiate in life. People do gardening for too many reasons, starting from to bring some color and contrast to the area outside the houses to growing their own food. It could also be used as a form of leisure activity with high perceived pleasure.

But how does one begin to build a garden? In this blogging post, we are going to understand how garden designs can be made particularly for those who are just starting their work on landscaping. By being rather proactive and ensuring that you make adequate preparations, you can enjoy flowers that are beautiful and well grown all round.

Let’s get started!

1. Decide What Kind Of Garden You Want

Image credits: Housebeautiful.com

Consider your space, the climate in your country, and the time you will dedicate to your garden.

Do you want a vegetable garden, flower garden, herb garden, or combination of these? Do you want to create a formal garden with trees, shrubs, and perennials or an informal one with a more natural look? You can achieve great garden styles with little education. 

Once you decide on the style, research the best type of plants to use in your region. Knowing what plants grow best in your climate and soil conditions will help you choose flowers or vegetables that will most likely thrive in your place. You can engage garden designers to help you design a good garden according to your space.

2. Choose The Right Location

When deciding on the layout of the garden, the amount of sun the area will get and how often it will be watered need to be taken into account.

Ideally you should try and get a location that gets at least six sun hours per day preferably with some shade in the afternoon. If your selected site is crowded or has problems related to water logging, flooding or poor drainage, consider planting in a raised bed or in containers. Ensure the ground is well drained in case of rainfall and enriched with organic matter for the plants to decode.

Observe the nearby plants and trees; if numerous trees or other large plants have big root systems around the garden, one may require more nutrients or space to grow healthily.

Lastly, think about how this or that or the other option will allow you to get to your garden and work in it without interruption.

3. Acquire the right tools

Image Credits: Gardenerspath.com

You will need the basic gardening tools to help you prepare your garden and plant. Sometimes the tools you acquire may depend on the soil structure. At the bare minimum, you will need to invest in a shovel and a pair of gloves. You may also need other tools, such as a soil scoop to help you easily fill your pots and planters, a kitchen knife to help you make cuts when harvesting vegetables, and a cordless drill for making holes in objects that you want to turn into planters.

Other tools that you may need include a hori hori knife to help you divide lumps of roots and other tough garden tasks, hand pruners for cutting stems and branches, and a running saw to help you access the tight spaces during the pruning process. Choose the right tool depending on the plant you want to grow, as not all plants require the same tools.

4. Prepare The Soil

Here are the vital steps to do this:

    • Start by clearing trees and shrubs, weeds, or debris from the soil and find a way to remove weed seeds from dried-up weeds.
    • Send a soil sample to your local USDA cooperative extension service office for testing. This will tell you what nutrients it lacks, so you can tailor your approach to improving planting. 
    • Dig the soil to a depth of 10-12 inches, removing any large stones.
    • If you are planting vegetables, add compost or manure to provide additional nutrients for the plants.
    • If necessary, adjust the pH level with the help of a soil test.
    • Loosen it up with a rototiller or spade.
    • Add peat moss, aged sawdust, mulch, leaves, or hay to improve drainage and water retention.
    • Use a rake to level the ground, making sure to break up any clumps.
    • Water it lightly to moisten it before planting.
    • Finally, use a hand trowel or hoe to create furrows or beds for planting your seeds or seedlings.

5. Make A Garden Bed

Image Credits: Joegardener.com

Garden beds are areas in which plants are grown from seeds until they are ready for transplanting. To create a garden bed, clear the existing vegetation by pulling it out by hand or using a hoe. Ensure that you get out the plant roots so that they don't sprout.

If you are making your garden bed on your lawn or front yard, you may need a gas-powered sod cutter to help you remove the grass. When preparing your flower beds, try not to till or dig because this can disrupt the underneath life, like worms and beetles, which are needed for a healthy garden. Instead, spread a thick layer of compost on the planting bed once you remove the debris and grass.

Ensure that your garden beds are not more than 4 feet wide to reach into the center of the beds without stepping on the soft soil. This will impact it and spoil all the work you've done.

6. Choose The Plants

Consider buying native plant species, as they are expected to have a better growth rate at your location. You should also avoid planting species that may fight for some of the available resources such as light, water and fertility. Last, about what areas are best suited to the sun or shade and then decide which species are best suited to either.

It may be best to grow these species as annuals or perennials depending on how much space and time you can dedicate to the care of your gardens.

Before making any decisions, people should find out how much water plants require, how big these plants can grow, and how to take care of them. Just select those that appeal to your aesthetic sense or that look fascinating; gardening should be fun.

If you have more questions, you can go to various gardening forums and talk about something with others. You can even schedule a face-to-face meeting to discuss works of art and enjoy each other’s company.

But before you start filtering people you know, you should know that the person whom you are about to meet has no intent to harm you. A lot of them are available on different websites, and here it is possible to find various details of a certain person. 

7. Plant The Seeds Or Seedlings

To do this, follow these steps:

    • Carefully dig a small hole in the soil, leaving enough space between each seed or seedling.

    • Place the seeds in the holes and cover them with soil. Make sure to water them.

    • For seedlings, carefully remove them from the pot and place them in the soil. Gently firm the soil around them.

    • Mulch around the planting area to retain moisture, reduce sun exposure, and reduce weeds.

    • Label the planted seeds or seedlings to identify them easily.

    • Monitor your garden's progress by checking the soil for moisture and watching for signs of germination.

    • Start planting, then add compost or fertilizer after planting to help your seeds get established.

8. Water The Plants

Depending on your garden type, there are several ways to water your plants. Hand-watering with a hose is recommended for a vegetable or flower garden. 

Make sure to get the water directly to the root zone. It’s best to avoid getting the leaves wet, as they can be prone to disease if they stay moist for too long.

Image source: thespruce.com

If you require extensive watering, the use of drip irrigation or sprinkler system may be the solution for a large garden. These tools will ease your work and also ensure adequate water is supplied to the plants. Water your plants to the right extent, as the needs of each plant vary due to its growth requirement.

The general rule is to water deeply, but not too often, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings.

9. Fertilize the Plants

Fertilization is a critical element of gardening because it involves the replenishment of essential nutrients in the flowers. This water supplies your plants with the right nutrients they need in order to grow and develop. It is in natural form, like compost, manure, or bone meal, and synthetic, in the form of chemical fertilizers.

Organic ones are often cheaper, though they are environmentally friendly in comparison to the inorganic ones. It is also slow-release, meaning that your plants will benefit from the nutrients for a more extended period. There are also synthetic fertilizers that are more concentrated, and they release their nutrient when and where required. That being said, they are even costlier than organic ones. For instance, mineral water is more pricey than organic water.

When applying fertilizer, make sure to follow the instructions on the packaging. Different plants require different amounts, so it's important to choose the right one for your garden. 

You should also avoid applying too much fertilizer, which can cause your plants to burn or get damaged. If you’ve chosen to use the organic fertilizer, you may need to apply it multiple times throughout the growing season to ensure your plants have all the nutrients. The seed packet will indicate the right amount of fertilizer to use.

Fertilizing your garden will help ensure that your flowers, vegetables, or herbs seeds get the nourishment to grow. 

10. Enjoy Your Garden!

Image credits: Home.howstuffworks.com

After all the steps of gardening you have taken, it becomes the right time to relax and watch the results of your efforts. Cultivating and caring for the plants can be fun and very rewarding in the long run as they help the environment. You will get to enjoy beautiful flowers or fresh produce from your garden, and, more importantly, enjoy the pleasure of taking care of a space that is a part of you.

It is a perfect place for you to take your time and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Take a few minutes each day to observe all the various plant and how they grow and develop. Or if you fancy it you could do the garden path or put up a trellis to give extra beauty to the outdoor living area.

It is a good way to relax after work and forget about all the problems, staying close to the nature. Spend some time just to savor it.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How often should I water my garden?

This is the greatest question many people ask, regardless of whether they have a vegetable garden, flowering plants, annual flowers, or perennial flowers. Every type of plant requires different amounts of water, and you cannot decide to water your plants once a week or a day.

The frequency of watering your plants, especially young plants, depends on a variety of factors. These factors may include the climate of where you live, the amount of rainfall in the area, the time of the year, the type of soil, sometimes if they are group plants, and whether your plants are in plant containers or the ground.

Therefore, read labels when purchasing seeds and plants to know if they're drought-tolerant or if they need moist soil.

2. What can you plant in your garden?

Decide what you want to plant in your new garden, whether it is a herb garden, vegetable, or flower garden. For herbs and vegetables for your consumption, it is advisable to choose crops you and your family are willing to eat or try. For flowers, decide their duration, either annual, perennial, combination, etc. Whatever you decide, garden maintenance requirements may be different for the garden space.

3. What is the best garden spot?

With a clear idea of what you want to plant, next would be to find the right spot for your garden. Most plants need six to eight hours of full sun daily. To know the right spot, try to find the ideal place where the sun shines eight hours a day.

Also, note how much sun is needed by plants like tomatoes and potatoes to flourish. Nonetheless, it is advisable to choose a relatively flat place for the garden because a sloping garden is time-consuming, difficult, and expensive to deal with. The garden should as well have easy access to water, without which the planting depth can also be influenced.

4. How do you plan your garden?

It depends on how much space you require for the right plants. Once you clear the weeds, plants, shrubs, and sod in the area you want to plant, know the amount of space to leave from one plant to another or seedling to the next. Planting vegetables in a row helps you understand which plant is which.

Also, consider an extra space between rows, as it should provide enough room to walk between plants to fertilize, water, weed, or even harvest.

5. What are the right tools for preparing your garden?

The right tools for use in planting make the work more pleasurable than a chore. A soil tiler, for instance, or hoe helps loosen the dirt, dig planting holes, and add fertilizer. The right tools for the garden include a shovel, a rake, and a spade for digging holes and moving plants and soil.

A measuring tape or ruler measures the depth of planting holes and the distance from one hole to the next. There are also other ways to measure your lawn's square footage. Also, invest in other good gardening tools like

    • Scuffle hoe

    • Dirt rake

    • Leaf rake

    • Dramm hose

    • Garden kneel pads etc

6. Must I test and improve my garden soil?

Yes, your gardening expert county cooperative extension office will help you test your soil sample in two weeks. The results show you what your soil lacks and what nutrients it is rich in. They will recommend soil amendments to get it to the right pH levels. Most garden plants require a neutral pH level (pH 7). A few more like a lower level of acidic soil to flourish. An example of these plants includes potatoes. On the other hand, some plants prefer brassicas or slightly alkaline pH levels. Hence, it is essential to know what soil your garden has and if it is right for your desired plants.

7. Why is it essential to invest in the right seeds?

Choosing the right seeds and seedlings to plant in your new garden is vital as it will determine the yield. The better the seeds you get from your local grass store, the better the yield. On the other hand, the right seeds will grow healthier than bad seeds despite plant diseases.

People have interesting ways of acquiring the right seeds but buying ones adapted to your climate, sunlight, and soil ensures up to 100% growth. You can also search the internet for the seeds and seedlings you need for your garden. Only ensure you get them from a certified outlet. This is written on their seed packets.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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