Tip Sheet: Five Guidelines for Gardening

by James Florence

Spring is coming – are you ready to grow? Photo: American Ratings Corporation (2017)

Following the heavy (and much needed) rainfall of the past winter, gardening enthusiasts in the Bay Area can look forward to a bounty of opportunities come spring. In addition to the finer points involved in planting flowers and crops, here are some basic guidelines to consider for optimizing your gardening experience.

Plan for all seasons. While many assume gardening is only for the spring and summer, if you plan correctly, you can keep yours looking beautiful through the fall and winter seasons as well.

Remember, plants grow. A common mistake gardeners make is installing plants that don’t fit within the schemes of their gardens. Don’t be a victim of “cute in a gallon can” syndrome—just because a particular plant looks good at the nursery, that doesn’t mean it’ll be right for your garden.

Plan for ecological balance. Any gardener knows healthy crops attract harmful insects in search of sustenance. However, instead of going on the offensive by applying insecticides, you should allow these unwelcome guests to stick around for a while. Once there are enough of them, they’ll attract beneficial insects that will restore ecological balance.

Focus on functionality. A garden can be a lot more than a place to situate plants—it can also be an ideal setting for leisure and entertainment, so be sure to keep this in mind when designing yours. Additions like landscape lighting and hardscape features (such as a stone patio or barbeque) can transform your garden into a functional outdoor living space.

Be kind to the earth. From design to installation and beyond, be proactive about employing ecologically friendly methods and materials at every step of your gardening experience.

To find a Diamond Certified landscaping professional in your area, visit www.diamondcertified.org.