Even though still it’s winter, it’s never too early to start thinking about what you’re going to do with your garden when the warm weather returns in spring. Experienced Calgary landscapers know that the winter months offer an excellent opportunity to plan your gardens for 2013; you can spend time designing a layout, selecting your plants and getting ready to prepare your soil for spring’s arrival.
When it comes to your garden layout, there are four major design principles you can use.
- Vertical gardens are ideal for planting vegetables like green beans, or for decorative plants like vines.
- Square foot gardens help you make the most of limited or contained spaces.
- Container gardens plants to small pots to help you save room. Containers are also excellent if you want to try your hand at indoor gardening during the winter.
- Raised gardens are the perfect solution if your property has infertile soil. They allow you to separate your garden soil from the natural soil in the ground, providing you with unmatched control over soil conditioning and fertility.
Once you’ve decided where you’re going to dig your garden and how you’re going to lay it out, the next step is to choose the plants and flowers you want to grow. Calgary landscapers should be aware of the southern Alberta “hardiness zone,” which is a metric used to determine which types of plants and flowers will thrive in local conditions. Hardiness in the Calgary area measures at Zone 3B, which means that plants and flowers with hardiness ratings between 0 and 3 should thrive under normal weather conditions. You can do further research with the help of your local gardening retailer to discover the full range of perennials and annuals that will grow in Calgary.
While there isn’t a whole lot you can do to prepare your soil for springtime planting until the ground thaws, experienced Calgary landscapers know that it’s best to be ready in case spring arrives early. Here is a step-by-step guide to prepare your soil for spring planting:
- The first thing you’ll do in spring is get rid of rocks, dead plant material, twigs, branches and other winter debris from your lawn and garden area.
- Next, till (dig and mix) your soil using a power tilling machine, or a spade if you don’t mind the hard work. Given Calgary’s relatively northern location, it’s recommended that you till to the full depth of 12 inches.
- Add 2 to 3 inches’ worth of fertilizer or organic compounds to the soil, then mix it in with the freshly tilled earth. Manure, grass clippings or ground-up compost are ideal fertilizer substitutes.
- Test your soil’s pH levels with the help of your local gardening centre. You need just the right balance to ensure your plants can receive all the nutrients they need, and that your soil is neither too acidic nor too basic.
- Flatten out the soil in the garden area, making sure it’s even and level. You’re now ready to get planting!
Now is a great time to stock up on the fertilizers and equipment you’ll need for your garden this spring.
If you have any other landscaping questions, or if you’d like to arrange for professional landscaping services, the professional Calgary landscapers at Mirage Landscaping are here to help. We offer a full range of services, from wintertime snow removal to spring cleanup, lawn care and landscape construction. To learn more, please don’t hesitate to contact us.