A few simple steps are needed to put in a new garden around your home.
First, start with a simple sketch of the area you want to plant. You can think of a new garden as an extension of your home as your outside "room".
Next, you will need to have a good idea of the plants you want in your new garden. Visiting a couple of local nurseries and talking to the nurserymen can get you on the right track. Another excellent source of information is to visit www.texassuperstar.com. This is the website of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service that lists plants that thrive well in Texas that can aid to the success of your new garden.
The ground will need to be prepared for planting. You will want to clear old unwanted plants from your new garden. Grasses and weeds can be killed by covering the area with about 10 sheets of newspaper or cardboard boxes cut flat. Allow at least two weeks or more for the grass and weeds to die off. The soil should be amended with 2" of compost tilled into the existing soil. This will allow your plants to get off to a good start.
Finally, after you have cleared the planting area, amended the soil and have purchased your new plants, it is time to set them into the ground. Pay close attention to the plant tags for the recommended spacing of your new plants. Also, pay close attention to the normal heights your plants will reach at maturity. You will want to plant your smallest plants in the front of the viewing direction of your garden gradually going up to the tallest plants. Add two to four inches of mulch and watch your new garden grow.
Charlie Colman, Smith County Master Gardener
Texas AgriLife Extension Service