From the right amount of sunlight to the best kind of soil, these six tips will help you maintain a beautiful yard year-round 

With summer just around the corner, gardeners of all stripes are purchasing seeds, pulling their watering cans out of storage, and preparing to plant. Whether you have a tried-and-true green thumb or are a first-time gardener, the following tips are sure to help guarantee a smoother experience this summer.

Gardening Tips

Pay Attention to the Sunlight 

Many vegetables, herbs, and plants need at least six hours of sunlight a day in order to grow to their full potential, so before you start planting, make sure to gauge how the sunlight falls in your yard. Choosing the right spot for your garden is the essential first step to making sure everything grows properly.

Choose the Right Soil

Second only to the right location, the right soil is a necessity if you want to ensure your vegetables and herbs flourish. You'll probably need to purchase some soil from a gardening store to guarantee the best results. Be sure to choose an option that is nutrient-rich.

Plant Vegetables in the Right Order 

Did you know that some vegetables get along better? It may sound crazy, but the order in which you plant your vegetables matters. Start by placing your taller plants (like corn and tomatoes) at the north end of the garden so they won't shade the rest of the plants. Next, plant companion plants (varieties that help each other by protecting from pests or improving flavor) side-by-side. 

Basil helps tomatoes grow and improves their flavor, while beans add nitrogen to the soil and therefore should be planted by corn and cucumbers. Root vegetables (like beets and carrots) should be planted in wide rows instead of narrow ones so they can grow larger. Last but not least, you'll want to plant warm-season crops (like corn, tomatoes, and melons) sooner than cool season crops because they can't survive cooler temperatures.

Landscaping Tips

Get Your Soil Tested

Before you begin, get your soil tested (you can call in a pro or pick up a DIY kit at Lowe’s or another gardening outlet) to see what shape it’s in. By checking the pH and nutrient levels of the soil, you can see if any changes need to be made before you start planting shrubs and flowers.

Use Starter Fertilizers

Whether you're planting hedges or flowers, you should use starter fertilizer in order to give things a boost. Choose fertilizers with low nitrogen, and make sure they have mycorrhizae-beneficial fungi in order to perk up the soil area.

Think About Year-Round Curb Appeal

Don't get too caught up in seasonal offerings--it's important to have some evergreen staples that will add beauty and consistency to your yard all year long. Drought-resistant plants are also a great option if you live in a warmer region. If you're a beginning landscaper, try to pick plants that are low maintenance in order to make things easier.


If you’re looking for a home in Napa or Sonoma (with plenty of space to plant your own garden), I can help you find the perfect place. As a licensed Napa and Sonoma real estate agent, I’m happy to work with you to find a property that matches your style and needs. Contact me today to learn more.