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6 Things to know before starting a summer garden

Melissa is the assignment editor and contributing writer for SheKnows Home and Living. While other little girls were playing dress up with Barbie, Melissa was busy remodeling Barbie's house. She now lives out her dream covering design an...

"Don't bite off more than you can chew"

Thinking of starting a garden this summer? We chatted with gardening pros Chris and Peyton Lambton from HGTV's Going Yard and got their tips for starting your summer garden off right. See what you need to know before you start digging in the dirt.
Summer gardening

Chris and Peyton Lambton from HGTV's Going Yard

Have a plan

SheKnows: OK, before breaking out a shovel, what’s the first thing you should do when planning a summer garden?

Chris Lambton: First thing to do when planning a summer garden is to create a flowering plan to make sure you have color from spring all the way to winter.

Peyton Lambton: Make a list of what you want in your yard before purchasing anything to make sure you aren't wasting money or going bigger than you can maintain.

SK: Container garden, square foot garden or something else? How do you pick the best layout for your space?

CL: It depends on the amount of space you have in your yard. If you have little to no space, go vertical with your garden. If you have some space, go with a container garden so you can move it around with the sun and seasons. If you have an average-size yard, then you can go with a square foot garden with raised planting beds to make the most of your space.

PL: Don't bite off more than you can chew. Just because you have a huge yard doesn't mean you have to fill it with a square foot garden. This is another good time to make a list of what you will plant and what you want to get out of your garden. Planning is key!

See Chris and Peyton Lambton's picks for fabulous outdoor decor >>

Chris and Peyton Lambton's garden

What to plant

SK: How do you figure out what grows best in your area?

CL: I recommend going to a local nursery and asking a professional there. You can also drive around your neighborhood and make note of what is growing best around you.

SK: What are the must-have plants every summer garden should have?

CL: Every garden should have herbs for cooking, tomatoes and your favorite flowers for picking.

PL: Marigolds and lavender are great to add because they help keep mosquitoes away and they look nice. Good way to add color and be functional at the same time!

Plant for the season

SK: When’s the best time to start planting if you want to get the most out of your garden?

PL: This depends on your climate zone. The two best times for planting are spring and fall.

CL: Fall is the best time to plant bulbs and perennials so they will begin popping up in the spring. If you missed that planting time, spring is also a good time to plant. Spring is better for annuals since they are only good for the season.

Chris and Peyton Lambton

Saving money vs. convenience

SK: Should you start from seeds or buy seedlings?

CL: If you have the time and a sunny place to grow, seeds are a much more cost effective way to get started. If you don't have the time and patience, then seedlings are the way to go.

Chris and Peyton Lambton's tips for backyard wedding decor >>

Beat the heat

SK: How can you make sure your plants are getting enough water during the summer heat?

CL: The most important thing about watering is when you water. Watering early in the morning is best because all the water will reach the roots when the ground is cool. This will allow the plant to absorb water and use it throughout the day.

PL: Using a water timer on your hose or irrigation system is a great way to monitor how much water your garden is getting. Set the timer for early in the morning — then you don't have to think twice about it.

Do your research and get inspired

SK: What are your go-to resources for getting gardening tips?

CL: HGTV.com and the new HGTVGardens.com are great for ideas and tips. I always go to the professionals at my local nursery. They know best for what I need where I live.

Get more gardening tips from Chris and Peyton Lambton on HGTV’s Going Yard, which airs Saturday mornings at 9:30 EST.

More gardening tips

5 Ways to reuse terra-cotta pots
Digging up the hottest garden trends
5 Best flowers to grow for home bouquets

Photo credits: HGTV
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