Gardening is a fun and relaxing hobby for lots of people, young and old. Older adults especially find it rewarding and a reason to spend time outdoors. Many 55+ communities have community gardens for use by their residents. Spring is coming, so before beginning planting, one needs to prepare the garden plot. This article discusses how to get the most out of your garden plot by preparing it before planting.

Planning the Site

The Tapestry community gardenThe first step is to have an appropriate location for planting. Check the sunlight requirements for the plants desired. Some plants require extended hours of direct sunlight, and others need shade along with partial sunlight. Based on the plant requirements, be sure your plot is appropriately located.

Level Ground

For planting, level ground is ideal. Level ground allows water to be distributed uniformly. If the chosen spot is inclined or uneven, place plants that require less water in the higher areas and plants that like lots of water in the lower spots.

Garden Beds

For colder climates, raised beds are a better choice. These raised beds are boxed above the ground. For warm climate regions, in-ground beds are the right choice. However, in-ground beds are more susceptible to weeds and require additional care. The watering requirements of in-ground beds are less than that of raised beds.

Plan the Layout

The Tapestry 55+ communityThe number of plants grown in a particular bed will depend on the plants chosen. Some plants require more space like broccoli, squashes, and cucumbers. In the same amount of space, lots of lettuce, spinach, and onions can be grown.

Clear the Weeds

Start with a clean bed. Weeds will grow soon enough, so clean them out before planting. Don’t use chemical weed killers because these might affect the plants you wish to put in your garden. Starting with a clean bed will make future weeding easier.

Prepare the Soil

Check the soil pH using testing kits available at the local hardware store. You can even send soil samples to a local lab testing center for accurate results. Check with the local garden shop about the best way to make adjustments to the soil based on the test results.

Add Fertilizer

Add organic matter and fertilizers in layer up to 6 inches deep so that it can reach the roots of the budding plants. Add optimum quantity as per the pH and soil fertility.

Now it’s time to plant. It may take some time to prepare your garden for planting, but the results will be worth it. Healthy plants in the proper soil and location will yield a good harvest.

Are you looking for a 55+ community with a community garden? Check out The Tapestry, an age-targeted community in Garner, NC. Call 919-772-4663 for more information.