Digging the right holes

Published 7:00 am Thursday, May 18, 2017

Starting a garden from scratch is not an easy process, something I recently discovered the hard way. There is more to it than just digging a hole and dropping in the plant. Science and chemistry are involved to keep a garden thriving.

However, the hardest part, I realized, is transforming a bed of dirt into a bed of organic compost that plants of all kinds will enjoy.

The first step I would recommend is to start fresh and map out how you want your bed to be. I prefer a garden bed with curves to compliment either the house or to add a little flavor to the yard.

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This can be mapped out with a flexible hose or string. Once you have the bed plotted, start digging three to six inches into the bed, loosening the soil, regardless of whether it is grass or dirt.

In order to keep the weeds from taking root in the garden, digging an eight-inch deep trench around the edges is something I found useful, but not 100 percent weed-proof.

After removing the rocks and roots, spread cow manure or finished compost in the bed to bring life back into the soil.

If you are starting from scratch on a dirt or clay plot of land, then, to get the best results, I recommend charting where each plant will go in the garden before digging the holes.

Many times, I hear of people just digging holes and putting plants in them without a plan of what the garden will look like. Planning ahead will ensure you get what you want out of the hours of hard work.

Before placing the plants into the holes, make sure to break up the roots at the bottom so the roots spread in the ground. Then cover them up with fresh organic soil and finally place mulch on top of the bed.

The mulch will keep moisture inside the ground so the plants will survive the hot Mississippi summer days.

Some of the greatest things in life take time, and gardens are no exception.

A beautiful garden will take time to assemble, but once it is blooming, all of the work will be worthwhile.