If you’re looking to start a brand new native garden this spring, there are a few key steps to success. Many of these can be done from home well before you buy your plants – making now an ideal time to start the process.

First, observe the conditions in your space for several days. Note how much sun the site gets, and how quickly it dries after a rain. Once you know your site conditions, it’s time to start researching your plants. Successful gardening is all about putting the right plant in the right place.

Next, design your garden. Giving some thought to the layout before you purchase plants will help even a beginner create a more beautiful space. For a collection of resources and templates for native garden design, see our website.

To prepare the space for planting, you have several options for removing the existing vegetation. Learn more about the pros and cons of various approaches in this video from our virtual series.

This is always the fun part – purchase your plants and get them in the ground! A thorough watering immediately following planting will help get them off to a good start. Watering should continue until the plants are well-established.

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a “no maintenance” garden. Even native gardens will need some weeding, cleanup, and maintenance. Experiment with methods and timing of maintenance tasks to find out what works best in your space. Make notes for next year and enjoy the learning process!