106.7 The Fan All News 99.1 WNEW CBS Sports Radio 1580

Family & Pets

Ask a Washington, D.C. Expert: How to Start Your Dream Garden

April 18, 2014 9:00 AM

View Comments
Community Gardens

Everyone wants great landscaping and a beautiful garden, but getting the end result isn’t always obvious or easy. A few expert tips can make a world of difference. Master landscaper Brent Ellis is offering up six easy tips that can move you closer to achieving your dream garden.

Brent Ellis
Owner/President, Ellis Landscaping
Clinton, MD 20735
(301) 509-2984
www.ellislandscaping.com

Brent Ellis is the founder and owner of Ellis Landscaping, a full-service landscaping company with 20 years of experience in commercial and residential services. Ellis boasts an impressive online project portfolio ranging from hedge trimming and plant and flower beautification, to fertilizing, seeding, sodding, hardscapes, retaining walls and even athletic field construction. An expert in the field, Ellis took some time to share a few tips on helping you achieve your dream garden.

1. Test Your Garden Soil

Soil is the foundation of most gardens. The health of that soil is instrumental to having healthy, vibrant plants. Therefore, a soil test is very important as it will reveal its pH levels. PH is a measurement of the soil’s level of acidity or alkalinity. A pH below seven is acidic, and above seven is alkaline. Levels should be 7.0 or above. Soil tests are inexpensive, easy to perform and can be purchased at any local hardware store.

2. Condition Your Garden Soil With Lime

This is a very important step. Lime helps to raise a soil’s pH levels which is critical because pH affects how easily plants can absorb nutrients from the soil. Liming your soil neutralizes its acidity and increases the activity of bacteria in the soil. It also provides much-needed magnesium.

3. Add Fertilizer

Add fertilizer, but don’t overdo it. It is possible to over fertilize. Too much can raise the acidity of your soil to levels that are toxic to plants, dry out (burn) or even kill your plantings. Each fertilizer is different in its tendency to burn.

Related: Best Landscapers In Washington DC

4. Water According To Plantings

There aren’t any hard rules about watering. Different types of plants require different amounts and frequencies of watering. It’s all about paying attention to your plants. There are many factors involved: the type of plant, the kind of soil you have, the climate where you live, exposure to the sun and the time of year. So water accordingly. For potted plants, you can feel the weight of the pot to determine if the soil is consistently moist. If the pot is unusually light, then add water until the soil is moist and water runs out of the bottom.

5. Protect Your Garden From Hungry Wildlife

Deer, rabbits and other critters enjoy eating your beautiful flowers. Make sure that you protect your investment by fending off hungry wildlife. Fencing is a good way to accomplish this. Smell and taste repellents can also be effective.

6. Add A “Wow” Factor

Everyone wants a special feature that gives their garden a great focal point and adds that “wow” factor. A quick and easy way to do this is to use ornamental art such as sculptures and fountains, or even something as simple as rocks or driftwood. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it should fit in with the style of your garden. Also, flowering fruit trees can bring long-lasting beauty.

Related: Treehugger: Best Arboretums In The Washington DC Area

Kevin Don Porter is the author of OVER THE EDGE and MISSING—two mysteries available on Amazon.com. Visit his website at www.kevindonporter.com..
View Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,567 other followers