Next Year’s Garden

Planning and Preparation

There are some things that you should do at the end of this year’s garden in order to have an even better one next year. Be creative and plan ahead.

Location

Give some thought to the size and location of your garden sites. Whatever your choices are, it’s wise to make them ahead of time. Plan for paths where you want to walk. Consider the type of plants you want, the conditions under which they thrive, and place your beds where the best combination of light, shade, moisture and drainage prevails. Choose the right plant for each location.

The density and time of shade cast by each object in your garden should be considered when you plan your plantings.

Deciduous trees are most versatile, permitting plenty of light during the cool weather of early spring and fall, and providing mottled shade in summer.

Evergreen trees and shrubs will provide year-round shade, its density depending on the branching habit of the evergreen in question.

Low walls and evergreen hedges provide a pattern of part-day shade and part-day sun, except to the south side where sun falls all day.

Buildings and high walls are opaque to light, providing dense shade to the north and very hot, bright conditions to the south. A building may provide protection for tender plants in winter.

Remember the sun rises about 30 degrees higher in summer than in winter. Observe how light falls in your yard over the course of a year, and plan your garden area to use this to advantage in each season.

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