Garden Layout DIY Tips

Apr 15, 2016

Colorful flower garden in urban yard

Image via Paul Harrison on Flickr

The way you structure your garden layout can make all the difference between your plants thriving or dying. This is where a little research on your part comes in. With this guide, we can help you design the layout of your garden to fit the specific weather and topographic needs of the Madison area this season.

Which Plants to Choose?

The first step is choosing which plants to incorporate into your garden. This will largely have to do with how much sun or lack of sun your yard gets. The City of Madison recommends the following plants for full sun (more than six hours per day) or partial shade:

  • Common Oak Sedge
  • Lavender/Anise Hyssop
  • Little Bluestem Grass
  • Virginia Mountain Mint

For full shade, go with:

  • Common Blue Violet
  • Woodland Phlox
  • Early Meadow Rue
  • Calico Aster

Start easy with a 10×15 foot plot for convenience. For more information see the great chart provided by the City that shows you which plants thrive in what kinds of soil during each month of the year in Wisconsin.

Right Plant, Right Place

The DIY Network says it all boils down to putting the right plant in the right place for ideal growing conditions so that plants can:

  • Establish and grow quickly
  • Produce healthy root systems and top growth
  • Ward off attacks by disease and bugs

You should know what your area’s USDA Hardiness Zone is to ensure the plants you want will survive the winter. The Hardiness Zone in Wisconsin ranges from zones 3a to 5b, which can withstand winter lows that range between minus 40 to minus 10 degrees F.

You also need to be mindful of your soil composition and can add things to an area to change its composition. For example, if you have slow-draining clay soil, add compost to make it more porous so it can drain faster. Don’t just plant your flowers and veggies in soil you get from the home improvement store and expect them to thrive. Make sure you match your plants with their soil requirements or you risk them dying. People who insist they don’t have a green thumb aren’t inherently bad at gardening; they just don’t do their research into the best soil for the types of plants they have.

In order to come up with a thriving garden layout, you need to visit with your nursery professional, read up online, and of course experiment by trial and error.

With a successful garden layout under your belt, now you can concentrate on other areas of your property this spring, such as your roof and gutters. Let Larson Home Services install a  long-lasting Gutter Shutter gutter system for your home.