Starting a Garden:

What questions should I expect to answer as a gardener?
What type of area do you want to develop?

Sun/Shade:

1) Is the area you want to till sunny or shady?
2) Will trees that leaf out change the sunniness or the shadiness of the area?
3) Will the annual changing aging altitude of the sun change the shadiness or sunniness of the area.

What is the terrain?

1) Hilly?
2) Near Foundation?
3) Foot Traffic?
4) Windy or Protected?
5) New garden?
6) Garden History?

Do I need a soil test?

YES, for short. You can spend a lot of time not knowing what is wrong and spending a lot of money doing the wrong things.

1) You can get free PH tests at many gardening centers.
2) There is a soil testing station in Windsor CT just off RT 91 where there is no charge and results can be back in about a week.
3) If option 2 fails, UCONN Agricultural center will do an in depth test for $8 per sample. The later in they year, the longer it will take to get your results. Early in the season, it may take 4 days. Later in the season it may take a month or two.

What type of plants do you want and do you want to mix them?

1) Annuals: Purchase every year, they usually bloom until frost.
2) Biennials: Drop seeds this year and they grow next year and bloom for about 2 weeks.
3) Perennials: Come back every year, bloom for about 2 weeks, usually expensive.
4) Bulbs: Place once, get 2 week bloom for about 5 – 10 years.
5) Shrubs: Long term, little maintenance but do need to be trilled. about 3 week bloom/year
6) Trees: Flowering, fruit, nut, color, texture, Deciduous, Conifers, etc.

7) Dividing what you have can same a lot of time money and effort. We can trade too.

How soon do you want color?

1) Immediately: Get annuals
2) This year: Buy potted plants.
3) Eventually: Consider growing from seeds or cuttings.
4) Don’t forget about textures. Green can be just as nice as color and can last year round.

How much work do you want to do?

1) I want to do it all.
2) I want help. expect to pay someone about $30/hour
3) I don’t do dirt, I’ll hire someone to do it all. approx $70/hour(-: