To raise a beautiful garden of flowers, vegetables or both, all it takes is some hard work and a little gardening knowledge. First, you must learn how to meet your plants' growing requirements, from preparing the soil to controlling pests and disease.
Select a garden site that receives full sun exposure for eight to 12 hours a day. Some plants need only five to six hours of direct sunlight, and others require full or partial shade, but a spot that receives full sun is generally best for a garden.
Turn at least 2 inches of compost into your garden soil to provide an organic fertilizer. Compost improves soil structure and texture and helps neutralize the soil's pH, bringing it into the 6.5 to 7 range that a majority of plants require.
Lay black plastic over the garden soil one to two weeks before planting. Warming the soil eliminates soil-borne pests.
Plant seeds, seedlings or plants in the ground when garden soil has thoroughly warmed and all danger of frost has passed, according to individual plant requirements.
Moisten soil thoroughly after planting. Keep the soil moist, but not soggy, until plants are well established.
Place mulch over the soil to maintain moisture once new growth is visible and plants have become established. Use peat moss, wood chips or straw. Do not allow mulch to touch plants.
Water regularly to keep the soil evenly moist. Water sandy soils more frequently as they leach water and nutrients out quickly.
Cultivate or weed your garden as necessary to reserve nutrients for plants.
Apply compost tea or fish emulsion regularly to replenish nutrients that have been used up. Withhold fertilizer applications when plants are flowering. Follow dosage and application instructions on the package.
About this Author
Kaye Lynne Booth has been writing for 13 years. She is currently working on a children's, series and has short stories and poetry published on authspot.com; Quazen.com; Stastic Motion Online. She is a contributing writer for eHow.com, Gardener Guidlines, Today.com and Examiner.com. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology with a minor in Computer Science from Adam’s State College