Plan a garden with 7 worthwhile tips and ideas, that will help you create a beautiful garden, without spending a lot of money.
Now that we have this huge area where an extremely large pine tree came down, it's time to fill in with some new plants, and basically plan a garden. We used to have a giant evergreen tree in the middle of this space. Last fall we had someone cut it down for us, because it was getting dangerously close to the house. The perfect storm could really cause some major damage. Now we need to plan, and plant this new garden space.
7 Budget Friendly Tips to Plan a Garden
1. Know Your Space
Make sure you know the area of your space when plan a garden. Most importantly, figure out how much sun the area will receive each day. Full sun loving plants need a minimum of 6 hours each day, usually more. Anything less than that should fall under the part sun/part shade or possibly shade lover category. As you can see from the photo, this area gets sun almost the entire day. There is tiny bit of shade at the bottom, but by 10 am, that area is also in full sun. It's also helpful to note if the area is going to be dry or one that holds water. This area is on a hillside so any water will drain away. Know your Zone. This will help when looking to purchase plants.
2. Use What You Have
The best way to save money is to move plants from other parts of your garden. You can see in the back of the picture above there is a lilac shrub which is smothered by other plants and is not getting much sun. This is a perfect plant to move to the new area. Below there is a space where we move a mid-sized hydrangea, making this area a little less crowded. Two peonies were also moved from the right side.
3. Make a Drawing of the Plan
Sketching and making notes on paper is a great way to step back and think about what you can place in the new garden. It doesn't have to be perfect, or drawn to scale. Just a handy reference for planning ideas that you can do now, and maybe some that you will tackle later.
4. Plant at the Right Time
We waited a whole season to start planting in this garden. We wanted to wait until the fall because most plants will do best being transplanted and moved in the fall. I knew that I was going to move 5 peonies, and though I have moved them in the spring before, most experts suggest fall for transplanting peonies. This is because they are getting ready to go dormant and the cooler weather causes less stress on the plants as well. Late winter and early spring can also be good times to plant, but, in my area you'll have to keep an eye out for cold nights and give your transplants a little extra protection.
5. Ask for Help
Most gardeners are usually more than happy to share their plants. Ask your friends and neighbors if they have any plants that you would like for your new garden. Many may already be in the process of dividing their own plants, and would be happy to give you a division. You could also take cuttings of some, and pot them up for the future planting.
6. Use Placeholders
I love this idea from Cold Climate Gardening, where she takes plants from other parts of the garden that are rapid spreaders or self seeders to sit in as temporary placeholders. Once you find or purchase something better you can rip out the place holder. This option helps fill in the garden and keeps weeds at bay.
7. Utilize Sales & Seeds
Since it is fall many nurseries will have everything on sale. Even if the plant is a little bedraggled, the price may be just right. In the spring I will plant flower seeds, which cost next to nothing, on the left side of the new bed to help fill it in until we find or move something new there.
Here's a look at the new garden area. So far every plant has been moved from another part of the property. Most were over-crowded or not doing well. After I moved them, I used a transplant liquid fertilizer, and I'm making sure they get a good soaking at least once a week with a sprinkler. I can't wait to see how it all fills in by next season.
I have bulbs to plant this fall. They will come up at different times n the spring. Can I plant them along with veggies?
Yes, you can definitely plant bulbs with veggies. The best thing to do is follow the instructions from the growers on the package. Typically you want to plant about one month before your frost date. For me that is using October. The ideas is to give them a chance to set roots and get established before the ground freezes. You can use a zipcode calculator to find the average frost date for your area online in many places like this one: https://davesgarden.com/guides/freeze-frost-dates/. If you live in a very warm area I'd shoot for November.
Hope this helps.
I can't wait to see how it fills out as well. I have to dig out a bit of my back garden for some propane pipes to be installed and it has me excited. I love switching things out but mostly I love that this area has done so well for Dahlias I want to make room for more. Having to move other plants to let the guys dig for pipes gives me the incentive to 'getter done' sooner rather than later.
I agree. It's so fun to have an excuse to grow more plants. I bet your dahlia bed is going to be amazing. They are such beautiful plants. I've grown a few but am really bad about digging them up in the fall to overwinter.
How exciting I remember you saying you were scoping out this space. Great advice and I'm looking forward to seeing you accomplish your plan.
Yes this is a huge area where a giant evergreen once stood. It's sad to see it go but we were really beginning to worry about the damage it could do to our house. Now if only we could get some rain here. I've been using a sprinkler but it's just not the same as a good soaking rain.