Planting the Right Flowers and Herbs in Your Garden, Part One

Dirt, is it Really Important?

After choosing the perfect place in your yard to plant the definitive garden you must then decide what to plant. This may seem like an easy task but trust me, there is much more than meets the eyes where this process is concerned. Let's take a deeper look into how you go about planting the flowers and herbs for your garden and why.

Planting the Right Flowers and Herbs in your Garden: Soil Quality

This is one of the most important factors when planting your garden. The last thing you want to do is to take the time to begin planting, nurture and care for the seedlings and then have them all die on you. It is upsetting to find that all of that hard work was for nothing. Some people get so discouraged that they give up all together on gardening after this type of loss.

The types of soil is very important to the life of your garden and so it should be determined just what type of dirt you are dealing with prior to planting.

Clay is a heavy soil and will stick together easily when wet. It can be difficult for the roots of your flowers and herbs to thrive. You may need a raised flower bed and store bought soil to make it easier for you when planting.

Loam is the best type of dirt for herbs and in a moment I'll tell you why. The consistency is usually marshy or sandy... both are okay. There are many other types but these are the most common in my experience.

Sand has a few misleading properties. I have always heard of how you can grow anything in sand but the fact is that it is not always the case. For instance, if your soil has sand on the top it can be used well because sand warms fast and can be a great help in the spring... but, if your yard is sand through and through then the vital nutrients will be washed away when watering and your plants will die. You would need to nourish your sand and mix it with fortified soil before planting.

Chalk is a type of soil that is light but has chalk particles in it making it too much alkaline for the survival of flowers and herbs. This is a situation where you would need a raised flower bed and store bought soil.

The pH balance in your dirt is also very important and so you will need to check the levels to narrow down what flowers and herbs to plant. It is from this list that you can begin the planting experience.

Although all of the above are okay for planting herbs and flowers some are better than others and some you may have to actually combine with other, more airy, soil. The pH balances are as follows:

    Clay- 6.5
    Loam- this can range, depending on the specific type you have, between 5.5 and 8.5
    Sand- 4.5
    Chalk- 8.5

So, why is this important? Different flowers and herbs thrive in certain pH balances and some will die if it is not right for their species. The lowest pH balance of 3.5 indicates that it is acidic-8.5 indicates that the dirt is alkaline based.

The best type of soil for planting your flowers and herbs are usually around 5.5 - 7.5. If you are still unsure after reading this article as to what dirt is in your garden, you can go to your nearest garden supply store or garden department and purchase a soil testing kit.