Planting a garden is simple when you’ve done some proper garden soil preparation.
And choosing plants is very exciting when you’re looking to create an ecosystem instead of just a collection of pretty flowers.
For a vegetable garden, I like to do a lot of direct seeding, as well as start certain plants inside from seed, and buy a few things from a garden center or market. You can learn about all of these in the Smiling Gardener Academy.
In planting a garden today, I’m just sticking with buying plants, since I’m doing this in one afternoon and I’m kind of trying to make this quick and easy for you – just the basics. I found some healthy plants at a local garden center.
I prefer organic plants but there was nothing this time of year in my area. It’s not the end of the world, but I do prefer it. You want to make sure they’re pest-free and not root-bound.
It’s important to put out your plants before planting so you can determine proper spacing. Be sure to remove the container and slice the roots vertically if they’re thick at the edge of the root ball. Plant so the top of the root ball is level with the top of the soil.
When you’re planting gardens, there is one more step, coming up next time. But if you have any questions about planting a garden, feel free to ask below.
Planting A Garden Video Transcript
Now it’s time to get into choosing your plants and then planting a garden.
When you’re designing an ecosystem instead of just a collection of pretty plants it gets really interesting choosing appropriate plants that work well together to form a nice plant community.
Now today I’m really just adding onto my herb garden so I’m really just trying to find some herbs that I don’t have already, so it’s not quite as big of a deal for plant choice.
But usually what I like to do, is for the vegetable garden I like to do a lot of starting from seed directly in the garden, a little bit of starting seed inside, and sometimes I buy some starts as well from a garden center or a market because especially if I just want one of them like an herb, then I don’t have to go through the trouble of starting it.
And I get into all that stuff in the Academy but today I’m just going to show you how I have half a dozen starts that I’ve purchased.
When you’re buying plants you just want to buy something that looks healthy, that doesn’t have any insect damage or doesn’t have any insects crawling on them because that is an indication that it’s not healthy.
It’s nice if you can get organic herbs – sometimes that’s not possible – or herbs or plants or whatever. It’s pretty tough to find organic trees or shrubs in many places. Sometimes it’s a little bit easier in the spring, especially you can find herbs that are organic.
And then you want to look at the root ball and then ideally you’d like to see some roots on the outside like this, but you don’t want them to be really what is called root bound or pot bound where they’re really circling around the outside and taking up the whole thing.
That means that it was in too small of a container and that’s not ideal. But then other than that it’s pretty easy. So what I’m going to do here is, I’ll show you how to plant.
Now before I get planting a vegetable garden I’ve placed them as I’ve done in my mulch here you can see and that lets me figure out how many plants I can get in there and where to place them and all that. You know it’s tough to just start planting. You kind of want to place them and give them plenty of space.
So when it’s done a garden often looks kind of empty and bare and if it doesn’t look empty it probably means things are planted too close together.
Especially when you get into shrubs and more perennials plants because they need space to grow so you obviously have to give them a lot of room so it looks kind of empty at first.
Right in that spot in the middle there is where I’m going to plant this lemon balm, this beautiful smelling lemon balm here. First I’m just going to take a knife.
This is not too bad for root bound but I’m still going to just kind of slice half an inch in, you know 4-8 times around the outside. Just to encourage the roots to go out into the surrounding soil instead of staying within the pot, maybe once on the bottom there. Something like that. Pretty easy.
So, let me zoom in here. I think I kind of had it placed right in there. So in terms of how to plant a garden, it’s pretty straight forward.
I want to take the pot off always. Maybe do that little cutting, if there’s plenty of roots on the outside and then you know this part is so easy once you’ve improved your soil you could almost do it with your hands. I’ll just stick a little.
Once you’ve put the mulch down that does make it a little bit trickier because you can’t just throw the soil aside, but it’s worthwhile doing it this way. And then you want to plant it so that the top of the soil is level with the top of the existing soil. So top of this, top of that.
And you want it to have a nice firm base there. And that’s all there is to it. And then I’ll water it in. and this is the kind of stuff we get into in the Smiling Gardener Academy.
We really focus a lot on… by the way, sometimes I plant slightly high, only because I like to get a really thick mulch on. You know, like that. So I plant slightly, slightly, high.
So this this is the kind of thing we get into in the Smiling Gardener Academy. Like I said we really focus a lot on the soil because that’s so important, and the soil food web. I do kind of focus on food plants but it still applies the same to flowers and ornamental plants. I do get into trees and stuff, too.
And really, I’ll show you this one. That one’s a little more root bound so I just, just do that. This is a nice sharp knife. Sorry I keep not doing that on camera, don’t I. I can’t watch the camera while I do that. Just like that.
And so I was just kind of saying there, you know, it’s a lot about food and soil. A lot about planning, designing, trying to keep it really practical and hands on. Really going for sustainable practices as much as possible. Learning how to use organic fertilizers and control pests.
And I also like to do it without spending too much money because I just like to be kind of frugal. I spend money where I need it but overall think in the long run about making a garden that kind of takes care of itself without always needing external inputs.
So, that’s all today for this planting a garden. And there is one more step that I’ll get into in the next video.