The Ultimate Garden Planning Guide

Follow our tips now to ensure you will have the most beautiful growing season yet.
Dreams and Designs
The gerber daisy
The gerber daisy (gerbera jamesonli)
adds vibrant color to any garden.

Sketch your ideas on paper. It's easier to make changes with an eraser than with a shovel. This is the time to consider garden views from inside the house, traffic patterns throughout the yard, and ways your family uses the yard.

Draw permanent structures such as paths, walls, fences, decks, and gazebos, even if you don't intend to erect them immediately.

Reserve space near hedges, walls, and fences for plants that benefit from the extra protection and shade. Keep plants an ample distance from one another and from nearby structures to allow for growth. Give wide berth to new shrubs and trees; when fully grown, they can take up a lot of space.

Remember to leave open play areas for children. Add exercise areas for your pets where they won't trample plants. Leave yourself room to work. If you plan large beds, add space for stepping-stones or a winding path that will allow access to plants in the middle of the bed.

13 Best Tools

To anyone starting a first garden, buying all the tools can be pretty intimidating. This list covers the basics that you'll need to get started.

Garden Spade

  • Trowel
  • Spade (for digging and transplanting)
  • Shovel (for moving earth and mulch, flipping compost, etc.)
  • Hoe
  • Pruning shears
  • Sharp knife
  • Narrow digging tool
  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Cart or wheelbarrow
  • Hose
  • Watering can
  • Hat (for sun protection)
  • Gloves

Continued on page 2:  The Dirt on Dirt