Skillin's is holding a Gardening 101 class this Saturday at 10 AM and 2 PM at the Brunswick, Cumberland and Falmouth locations. Drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to register for the class! What follows is KCB's outline for the class:
Whether a seasoned gardener, just beginning or somewhere in between, it is best to have a strategy before you begin. With some forethought it could save money and pain, both physical and emotional, down the road.
1. Plan before you plant
2. Prepare before you plant
3. What you need
4. What plants need
5. Right Plant, Right Place
PLAN BEFORE YOU PLANT
1. THINK about how you wish to use your out-of-doors space:
Relaxing & Reflecting
o Bird & Butterfly Magnet
o Mixed Border
All of the above
o Separate areas creating ‘rooms’
2. IMAGINE the garden beds and landscape you want to create
Visualize a palette that you find attractive and not specific plants.
For Materials & Maintenance
Initial installation and on going
Low Maintenance doesn’t mean NO maintenance
PREPARE BEFORE YOU PLANT
1 Know your property
Walk you property
• Time of day and duration
2. Know your soil
o TEST SOIL
pH = soil acidity or alkalinity
• 7 is Neutral
o < = Acid (“sour”)
Add lime to decrease (increase pH)
o > = Alkaline (“sweet”)
Add aluminum sulfate (decrease pH)
Levels of Nutrients (only 3 are listed
• Nitrogen (N) 1st # on plant food/fertilizer bag
o promotes foliage over-all growth in lushness and color
• Phosphorus (P) 2nd # on plant food/fertilizer
o Promotes flowering (blooms) & Fruit development
o Promotes strong roots
• Potassium (K) 3rd #
o Promotes over-all health, strength and size of plant
3. Know your self
a. “Warming up before gardening is just as important as warming up before a vigorous workout. After warming up, stretching exercises for the major muscle groups that will be involved in performing the task can reduce the risk of injury.” The American Society of Hand Therapists ASHT®
b. Your schedule; how much time you really want to commit to your garden.
WHAT YOU NEED!
APPROPRIATE TOOLS-sharpened and in good working order.
1. Tools for digging and/or planting
2. Tools for Pruning/Cutting
3. Tools for Weeding
4. Tools for hauling
5. Tools for watering
6. Tools for comfort and Safety
Rose (long, up to elbow made of leather)
WHAT PLANTS NEED
Degrees of light
• Full Sun = 6 hours of sun between 10 AM 6 PM
• Part Shade/Part Sun = less than above or sun earlier in day
• Filtered Shade/Sun = Under trees or structures in full sun
• Achieve Balance
• Slow deep watering
• Do not waste
A Good Start
• See Plan & Prepare!
RIGHT PLANT/RIGHT PLACE
Things to consider
Amount of Sunlight
o Will plant spread
o Will self sow
MAKE A LIST BEFORE YOU HEAD TO THE NURSERY
Select plants appropriate for your property
Sunlight, soil, maintenance needs, height and spread
Read plant labels/tags
Ask professional nursery staff
Keep a Garden Journal!
Make notes of what and when of blooming, what works, what needs dividing, any special notations.
For Soil Test Kits, various publications or to learn more about the Master Gardener program:
Cumberland County Extension Office
15 Chamberlain Ave.
Phone: (207) 780-4205 or
800-287-1471 (in Maine)
FAX: (207) 780-4382
Office hours: weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Favored Web Sites:
Finishingtouchesgardendesign.com (under construction-check back soon)