The first affair in garden making is the selection of a spot. Without a choice, it means accessibly doing the best one can with conditions. With blank limited it resolves itself into no garden, or a box garden. Surely a box garden is better than cipher at all.
But we will now assume that it is possible to really choose just the right site for the garden. What shall be chosen? The greatest formative factor is the sun. No one would have a north corner, unless it were absolutely forced upon him; because, while north corners do for ferns, certain wild flowers, and begonias, they are of little use as spots for a general garden.
If possible, choose the dream spot a southern exposure. Here the sun lies warm all day long. When the garden is thus placed the rows of vegetables and flowers should run north and south. Thus placed, the plants accept the sun’s rays all the afternoon on the eastern side, and all the afternoon on the western side. One ought not to have any lopsided plants with such an arrangement.
Suppose the garden faces southeast. In this case the western sun is out of the problem. In bidding to get the best circulation of sunlight run the rows northwest and southeast.
The idea is to get the most sunlight as calmly diffuse as possible for the longest age of time. From the lopsided accretion of window plants it is easy adequate to see the bearing on plants of poorly diffuse light. So if you use a little diagram remembering that you wish the sun to shine part of the day on one side of the plants and part on the other, you can juggle out any situation. The southern airing gives the dream case because the sun gives half time nearly to each side. A northern airing may mean an about complete cut-off from sunlight; while northeastern and southwestern places always get uneven circulation of sun’s rays, no matter how carefully this is planned.
The garden, if possible, should be planned out on paper. The plan is a almighty help when the real planting time comes. It saves time and nonessential buying of seed.
New garden spots are likely to be base in two conditions: they are covered moreover with turf or with rubbish. In big garden areas the ground is ploughed and the sod twisted under; but in curbed gardens remove the sod. How to take off the sod in the best manner is the next question. Stake and line off the garden spot. The line gives an precise and straight circuit to follow. Cut the edges with the spade all the length of the line. If the area is a curbed one, say four feet by eighteen or twenty, this is an easy matter. Such a constrict band may be blemished off like a checkerboard, the sod cut by with the spade, and easily removed. This might be done in two long flooring cut lengthways of the strip. When the turf is cut through, roll it right up like a roll of carpet.
But assume the garden plot is large. Then divide this up into flooring a foot wide and take off the sod as before. What shall be done with the sod? Do not throw it away for it is full of richness, though not fairly in accessible form. So pack the sod collaborator side down one square on another. Leave it to rot and to weather. When rotted it makes a fine fertilizer. Such a pile of corroded vegetable matter is called a compost pile. All by the summer add any old green vegetable matter to this. In the fall put the autumn leaves on. A fine lot of goodness is being fixed for alternative season.
Even when the garden is big adequate to plough, I would pick out the biggest pieces of sod rather than have them twisted under. Go over the ploughed space, pick out the pieces of sod, shake them well and pack them up in a compost heap.
Mere spading of the ground is not sufficient. The soil is ever left in lumps. Always as one spades one should adjournment up the big lumps. But even so the ground is in no shape for planting. Ground must be very fine certainly to afforest in, because seeds can get very airless certainly to fine particles of soil. But the big lumps leave big spaces which no tiny root hair can penetrate. A seed is left stranded in a perfect waste when planted in chunks of soil. A baby surrounded with almighty pieces of beefsteak would starve. A seed in the middle of big lumps of soil is in a similar situation. The spade never can do this work of pulverizing soil. But the rake can. That’s the value of the rake. It is a almighty lump breaker, but will not do for big lumps. If the soil ever has big lumps in it take the hoe.
Many citizen´s butt the hoe awkwardly. The chief work of this adopt is to rid the soil of weeds and stir up the top surface. It is used in summer to form that mulch of dust so valuable in retaining humidity in the soil. I often see citizen´s as if they were leaving to chop into atoms everything around. Hoeing should never be such vigorous exercise as that. Spading is vigorous, hard work, but not hoeing and raking.
After lumps are blinking use the rake to make the bed fine and smooth. Now the almighty artifact of work is done.