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Best Practices for Planting Garden Beds

Homeowners, gardeners, and landscapers across Bucks County are preparing their gardens for summer. For those of us itching to get our hands dirty and get the growing season started, garden beds are a great place to start. 

Nurney Landscaping is deeply familiar with the Bucks County climate and soil, and we are excited to share some tried and true best practices for cultivating thriving garden beds in spring. 

Step 1: Assess your soil health. 

Before diving into planting, take the time to assess the health of your soil. Bucks County's soil tends to be rich in clay, which can be both a blessing and a challenge. Conduct a soil test to determine pH levels and nutrient content, then amend as needed with organic matter such as compost or aged manure to improve soil structure and fertility.

Step 2: Choose native and cold-hardy varieties. 

In Bucks County, unpredictable spring frosts are not uncommon, posing a threat to tender young plants. Opt for cold-hardy varieties that can withstand chilly temperatures, such as lettuce, spinach, kale, peas, and carrots. These resilient plants can be safely sown directly into the garden beds as soon as the soil is workable, providing an early harvest to kickstart the season. Choosing native plants supports the local ecosystem and reduces the need for excessive water, fertilizers, and pesticides. You will have the most success with native plants. You can find our favorite native plants here. 

Step 3: Be mindful of plant spacing. 

Proper spacing is essential for ensuring optimal growth and airflow between plants, reducing the risk of disease, and maximizing yields. Refer to spacing guidelines provided on seed packets or plant labels, and use a measuring tape to ensure uniformity. Additionally, consider interplanting compatible crops or incorporating companion plants to naturally deter pests and promote overall garden health.

We know that choosing the right plants and spacing for your landscape can be overwhelming. The Design team at Nurney can help you choose and install plants that not only look good but are functional. You can learn about our design process here. 

Step 4: Mulch and water wisely. 

As temperatures rise and rainfall becomes more sporadic, it's crucial to maintain adequate moisture levels in the garden beds. Apply a layer of organic mulch (we love Nutri-Peat Organic Mulch), and shredded leaves to help retain soil moisture, suppress weeds, and moderate soil temperature. Water deeply and consistently, aiming to keep the soil evenly moist but not waterlogged. Consider utilizing drip irrigation or soaker hoses to deliver water directly to the root zone, minimizing evaporation and water waste.

Step 5: Monitor for pests and diseases. 

Vigilance is key when it comes to pest and disease management in the garden. Regularly inspect plants for signs of damage, discoloration, or unusual growth, and promptly address any issues that arise. Encourage natural predators such as ladybugs and lacewings, and practice crop rotation to disrupt pest life cycles and prevent buildup of soilborne pathogens. When necessary, employ targeted interventions such as hand-picking, neem oil sprays, or insecticidal soaps to minimize damage and reduce harm to beneficial insects and pollinators.

By following these best practices for planting early-season garden beds in Bucks County, you'll set the stage for a bountiful harvest and a season of gardening success. Feeling overwhelmed? Nurney provides full-service landscape services. Get a quote today: (215) 794 - 8599. 


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