Backyard Landscape – Correct Planning of the Beds is the Most Important Part of Small Garden Design

Of all the components, parts, pieces, and plants that go into making up your small garden design the most important, by far, is the soil itself.

Soil rich in nutrients, with good drainage, is the best insurance you can get to enhance your new garden. On the other hand, if your soil is not healthy, or if your site does not have good drainage, there is almost no chance of successfully growing a healthy, vibrant garden.

Obviously, all plants need water, and some need more than others but most plants used in landscaping will not do well if they are over watered. So, when planning your small garden design, you must include planning on how your planting beds are going to drain.

Because many areas of the country have soil that has a very high clay content, drainage can be pretty challenging.

Many gardeners deal with clay by digging out six inches or so of soil and then adding a healthy topsoil mix fortified with peat moss. Even though this seems to be a good way to attack the problem, in reality all you have done is build a bathtub that will retain water to the point where the soil you have added is soggy all the time.

If this is your challenge I think the only real workable solution is to build raised planting beds. Adding six to twelve inches of height, or even more, will allow the planting bed to drain through your structure naturally which, in turn, will promote healthy growth.

Correctly planning your beds at the beginning is critical to your later success. Remember that once you begin planting it will not be possible to add more soil to your beds without removing all the already installed planting first.

As they used to say, keep the six “Ps” in mind: Prior Planning Prevents Pretty Poor Performance!