Step 2 - Tools of the Trade
The right tools can make almost any job easier. Do you have a big yard? Maybe you'll want to get a wheelbarrow or garden shed so you can keep all of your tools in one spot. We recommend you have all of these items on hand:
Shovel - A round point shovel is usually meant for digging; a square shovel is meant for scooping off of a hard surface; a spade is a narrow shovel for digging trenches or working in tight spaces.
Hand Trowel - For digging small holes when you plant your seeds or flowers
Hand Fork - Hand forks are ideal for moving, tilling, and cultivating soil in your planting areas.
Pruners - Meant for keeping your plants clean and removing any dead buds (so they don't take energy away from the living plant). Hand pruners are a must for small jobs, and a long-handle pruner or a pole pruner can be used for shaping large shrubs and trees.
Hose - You want a hose or two that can reach every corner of your property from your water sources.
Watering Can and/or Hose Nozzle - A must for hanging baskets, flower pots, and seedlings in your yard.
Step 3 - Prep & Amend Soil
Before you start your yard project, you'll need to prepare the area where you intend to plant. You'll want to get rid of any debris, sod, or weeds. For sod and areas with a lot of weeds you can either dig everything out, or you can smother the area with newspaper or a weed barrier, cover with compost, and wait. The process takes a few weeks, but if you don't like digging, it is a great alternative. You can also rent, buy, or borrow a rototiller to make prepping the area a lot easier and faster.
Step 4 - Pick Your Plants
You've got your plan, now it's time to find your plants – this is the fun part! Most flowers and most garden vegetables need about six hours of sun each day, so be sure you choose to plant your garden in a spot that receives lots of sun. If you have a yard that's mostly shaded – don't worry! There are lots of beautiful shade plants that can add beauty to your yard. Elliott's can help you pick the right plants for your yard.
Elliott's Tip: Look for these three items on your plant labels to make sure you have the right plants for your yard.
Elliott's Tip: Healthy soil makes healthy plants! Mixing compost, fertilizer, or organic matter into your soil will help give your soil the nutrients it needs to sustain plant life. Mix the compost in with your soil so it will be able to feed any plant that lives in it. Sometimes soil is pretty worn out – if you need to add some new, healthy soil, Elliott's has great soils to choose from.
Make sure you're choosing plants that will grow well in our climate. Each plant's label has a range of zones to which it's best suited. The Metroplex is in Zone 8a. For other areas, go to the US Department of Agriculture's site here and type in your zip code.
Your soil needs to be healthy and well-drained. If you're curious about the natural elements and pH levels in your soil, we can help you get a soil test – ask us how. We carry soils and amendments that can help fortify your yard and beds. Remember – healthy soil makes happy plants!
Step 5 - Start Planting
Make sure to determine how much sunlight your plants will get. Full-sun, partial sun and shade friendly varieties are all readily available.
Next on the list of things to do is put your plants in the ground. If you're starting from seeds, you'll want to read the packet and make sure you're planting at the right time of year.
You never want your plants to dry out, especially if they get a lot of sun. This is even more important when they're newly planted and their roots haven't integrated into their planting area. Seedlings need lots of water and nutrients. Make sure you're watering seedlings and young plants at least once per day. You can start to taper off as the plant gets larger and the roots become established. After that, keep an eye on your plants and water depending on how they look. Are they wilting in the sun? They might need more water! Is your climate very humid or rainy? Your plants may be set for a few days.
Elliott's Tip: When you're ready to plant, place all of your plants in their pots where you're going to plant them. Take a look, and make sure they're spaced well, and it looks the way you want. Once you've got everything placed, simply move the pot over, dig a hole, and plant!
Step 6 - Watering Wisdom
We've all gotten excited about a new plant, only to one day notice it's dead. Every plant in your yard is alive and needs care, so make sure you have a plan to give it the love it needs. Maybe you make it a daily ritual to drink your coffee and water your garden in the morning (P.S. - plants love morning water because evaporation happens more slowly). Whatever your plan, make a routine and stick to it. Plants are naturally pretty routine creatures – their schedules are just built by the sun.
Weeds and other invasive plants suck energy and nutrients out of your soil. Make sure you're taking the time to remove weeds and invasive grasses in your garden beds. A two- to three-inch layer of mulch will help keep weeds out and water in. Elliott's carries all sorts of mulches that are perfect for any garden - and it looks nice too
Lastly, fertilization can help keep your plants healthy and happy. Elliott's carries both traditional and organic fertilizers, soil amendments and pest remedies for all your gardening needs. Certain plants need certain nutrients, so you'll want to feed your new plants the right meals to keep them healthy and strong.
Step 7 - Share Your Success
After all that work, you should be proud because we certainly are. If you get the chance, show off your efforts by sending us a picture on the Elliott's Facebook page or tagging us in your photos. We'd love to see all your beautiful gardens!
Step 1 - Make a Plan
Create a Garden
It's time to get your yard in shape and Elliott's is here to help! We have the lawn & garden products and expert team members to help you complete your project. Just follow these seven easy steps to get your garden growing in no time.
Before you start any project, do your research and have a plan. You want your new yard to look nice, but you also want the flowers to be healthy, happy and last all summer. Set a goal for how you'd like your yard to look. Maybe you want lots of colorful flowers, maybe you want a low-maintenance yard – whatever it is, Elliott's can help.