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Backyard gardening generally consists of one, or a combination of, the following: vegetable gardens, herb gardens, flower gardens (perennials and colorful annuals.) You can even make your garden more specific, and plants flowers to attract butterflies or hummingbirds, or create a formal rose garden. Whatever type of backyard garden you decide to plant, you need to take into consideration whether your garden is in full sun, part sun or full shade. You may want to outline the shape of your garden bed with a garden hose and eliminate any weeds actively growing. If you use an herbicide to kill the weeds, you will need to wait 7-14 days before tilling the ground. If you donít have an area with good drainage, you can build a raised bed with landscape bricks, timbers or rocks. Next, add lots of organic matter to the soil in your garden bed, as organic matter helps improve the aeration of heavy clay soils and improves moisture and nutrient retention in sandy soils. Organic materials include peat moss, compost, manure, mushroom compost, leaf compost and composted bark. Once you till the organic matter into the soil, you are ready to plant your vegetables, perennials, or annuals. Itís a good idea to soak the plants with water after planting and then check regularly thereafter. A general rule of thumb is less frequent but deep watering is best. This will allow the plants to grow more deeply and handle drought conditions.

If you wish to attract hummingbirds to your garden, consider planting some of the following: bee balm, coral bells, daylilies, bugleweed, bellflower, delphinium, lupine, bleeding heart or pinks. A butterfly bush added to your landscape will attract butterflies, as will yarrow, butterfly weed, coneflower, catmint, phlox, sweet marjoram, black eyed susan and goldenrod.


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