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6 acres or less: 13 DIY ideas

Each happy owner of the notorious six hundredths wants to place on them not only a garden and buildings, but also fruit trees, a flower garden, a bathhouse with a greenhouse, and a pond with an alpine hill. What is the best way to equip a garden plot so that there is enough space for everything?

Small summer cottage

In order for a small area to contain everything you need and visually seem larger, you have to follow certain rules and even resort to tricks.

  1. First of all, do not build a house and a garage in the middle of the plot or in the direction opposite to the entrance. The access road will take up too much space in this case. To save space, try compactly combining buildings. For example, a house with hozblokami and a garage, and a bathhouse with a “woodcutter” and a barbecue area.
  2. Do not place tall buildings and trees along the southern border of the garden. The midday shadow will not allow you to place beds or a full flower garden here. Well, if the parking for the car can be arranged outside the site, there will be free space for a recreation area. But in the absence of extra meters, it can also be organized on the flat roof of some capital structure. If desired, a greenhouse can also be placed there.
  3. A garden in a small space is best arranged in a landscape style . The retaining wall, laid out in an arc, shrubby groups, the rounded contour of the lawn, winding paths for walks will optically expand the boundaries of the garden. Round arbors, recreation areas, terraces will visually appear more spacious.

If you like rectangular shapes, turn them at least into rhombs. They are more organically perceived in a small space.

  1. In tiny apartments, furniture is always put “on the wall” . Use the same principle in organizing the space of a small area. In other words, free the central zone of the garden and do not spoil its “ceremonial” look with random plantings. The best option for the ground floor is a neat lawn. All plantings and small forms are best placed on the periphery. Firstly, this technique creates the impression of a larger space. And secondly, it’s easier to move around this area.
Separate areas in the garden

Separate areas in the garden add volume to the space

  1. The area of ​​the site is visually reduced not only by the walls but also by the corners. Get rid of them – that is, engage! In each corner, consider placing some kind of decorative element. It can be a bright flower garden, a corner arbor or a podium, a recreation area, a bench, a composition with sculpture, and the like.
  2. Organize the space in the garden so that it is not visible all at once. A guest who has entered should not at first glance evaluate its area. Some parts of the garden should always be hidden in order to know: what is next? The best solution is garden partitions: screens, vertical structures, arches, pergolas, hedges, groups of tall plants. Let the winding garden paths either appear or hide behind these barriers, giving the impression of a large extent of space. 
  3. Visually push the boundaries of the garden. These boundaries are usually denoted by a fence. If it is fully visible, you experience a feeling of tightness, tightness. The easiest and most aesthetic way to hide a fence is to decorate it with trees, shrubs, flowers. A variety of shapes, textures, shades of foliage, bright color spots will do their job. The clear outline of the borders will disappear, giving the impression that next is also a garden.
  4. Make the fence at the cottage combined, using various materials that combine with each other. As a result, uniformity disappears, the feeling of limited space is lost.

Color the fence in a light tone, preferably gray. It looks organically in the garden at any time of the year. Better yet, if you give the fence on your site a little light “tracery”. Of course, a completely openwork fence is not the best option. But the “windows”, variously decorated, imitation arches with mirrors will help to visually make the site larger. Against the background of a solid fence, insert another texture. For example, in the form of large diamonds with wooden diagonal weaving. Even an insert from an ordinary mesh-netting can be an original design decision!

DIY ideas

Fragment of a fence in the form of an imitation of a house wall

  1. Organize terraces on different levels in the garden. If the site has at least a small topography, the garden seems larger and more spacious. Creating a “difference” of only half a meter can completely change the impression of the site! Therefore, plan a retaining wall, an alpine slide, flooring, steps or a podium, even a small one. You can move “down” – that is, make a “recessed” kindergarten or playground for relaxation, located below the level of the garden.
  2. Optically push the boundaries of the garden will help the game with color . The garden will gain depth and volume if in the foreground you place light-colored plants: white-edged derain, yellow-orange flowers, red-leafed barberry bushes, and purple species of cystonia. Behind, group plants of cold and dark shades, such as conifers. Closer plant flowers and shrubs with large foliage, and behind them with small foliage.

Large trees and shrubs in a small area should be few. The crown size can be trimmed from time to time.

  1. From the variety of fruit trees for giving a small size, choose semi-dwarf and dwarf varieties . They are specially grown for areas with harsh climates. They are compact, and it is much easier to harvest from them. Try to get varieties of different fruiting periods – summer, autumn and winter. Then you can enjoy fresh fruits at different times of the year, and keep them well.

When planting plants such as pears, plums, cherries, sea buckthorn, remember that they need a partner for pollination. If neither you nor your neighbors have it, take care of grafting twigs of another variety into the crown of your plant.

  1. On a plot of 6 acres you can not do without small garden equipment . It is better to cut the grass on a tiny lawn with a trimmer, and treat plant waste with a chopper (shredder). The crushed raw materials will take up significantly less space in the compost compartment, under which you can take a small patch in the farthest corner of the garden.
Site design
  1. With an acute shortage of space on the site, you can organize a mobile mini-garden . That is, place the crops in the planting modules. Such modules are temporarily installed in areas of the site where there is no fertile land. On any vertical surfaces – fences, walls of sheds and houses – it is possible to arrange hanging “beds”. To do this, use pieces of wide sewer pipes or any containers with a drainage hole.

Buying soil is impossible! How to maintain fertile soil in the arrangement of the site

Have bought a garden plot, are you going to build a house and break a lawn? Unfortunately, landscape designers often overlook such an important component of your acquisition as … a layer of soil in a summer cottage. Yes, it is with weeds, uneven and in some places is not needed at all – where the foundation of the future home will be. But this layer of soil must be preserved at all costs. Pavel Trannua tells why and how to do it.

Why save the soil during the construction of a summer cottage

Ways to master the garden and turn it into something “comfortable for living” can not be considered. One wants to see the area around the house under construction purely a recreation area. It is aimed at the lawn, at the wide paved paths, at the barbecue and swing areas, at the pond and shady arches of deciduous crowns around it.

For the other owner of the garden, the main thing is to realize himself as an avid plant grower. And here options are even possible inside flower growers: alpine slides are one thing, peat moss for rhododendrons are quite another, and roses and peonies are the third, etc. The rectangle of the garden will require the sunniest place, but there are still adherents of fruit growing – it is usually the most difficult for them to turn around because of the limited area …

Indeed, there can be many views on the arrangement of the site. I proceed from the fact that the most significant component in suburban life is still plants. At any moment, going out into the garden in the beauty of landscape design, going out surrounded by your flowers and fruit trees, picking ecologically clean greenery from the garden is a huge advantage of country life. For this approach, it is more reasonable to create one fertile soil on all.

Why save the soil during the construction of a summer cottage

Let us take a look at the land massif through the eyes of a beginner who has never seriously touched the turf and is afraid of the formidable form of weeds that covers the entire plot. And so he just begins to mentally arrange the buildings and inspects the area …

In this case, try to see that the weeds are a friend of the soil, not its enemy, to this day it has increased its fertility, and the soil is the most valuable that is on the site you have acquired. Your first task during construction is to preserve the soil . And at the same time lighten your future victory over the weeds, which you are going to replace with cultivated plants.

At this stage, the following mistake is made : they’re easily removed and “thrown out” somewhere, in fact, they lose the topsoil , believing that if you dig a bare bare subsoil with humus and other fertilizers, then here you can plant flowers and everything whatever. This is a fallacy: never in your future work with plants artificial soil will not give you the same as natural soil, even if it is a modest soil of the middle strip, not shining with “titles” of chernozem.

Grow your flowers, but it will not be the same, and you will never achieve what you have lost. Your soil has slowly ripened for several thousand years, it has properties that cannot be created by any humus.

“Come on, I’ll buy a car of humus and then what else is best for you – I’ll buy the best fertilizer – and put it on top!” – the active builder who has already rolled under the asphalt a parking lot in front of his castle will grin at my warnings.

Alas, it is impossible to become sixteen again for money, and it is impossible to create soil for money several thousand years old, which has been gradually saturated with humus since the glacier disappeared.

“Come on, I’ll buy a car of exactly the same land, even better – they’ll bring me black soil from Tambov!”

Alas, no one will bring you anything. Do you think that for you somewhere in the field they will carefully bayonet the top layer of “no man’s land” with turf? This is a crime – such actions are prohibited by law! No, they will bring black soil and say that it is black soil, and it will be peat slag, on which nothing grows, but you can’t tell …

How to increase the soil layer when developing a summer cottage

How to increase the soil layer when developing a summer cottage

Therefore, I give such advice – you will not regret it sometime later! – And you decide whether to follow it or not.

  1. Before digging deep pits, first separately remove the fertile layer about a bayonet thick with a shovel. It is darker colored due to the high concentration of humus. It is transported in a wheelbarrow and stacked in a selected place of the future orchard or vegetable garden, flower garden, preferably turf down.
  2. Next, the lower clay from the pit (or sand) is removed and stored so that it does not bury the primordial soil anywhere. So, if you decide to make a loose hill around the house from the excavated soil, then first you should carefully remove and transfer the fertile layer from here.

Thus, you will increase the amount of fertile soil, which will come in handy in the future when planting fruit trees. After all, apple trees and especially pears have little of our natural fertile layer, which the soils of the Middle Strip possess, they grow better on its two to three times thicker thickness. Moreover, it has been built up, and not in depth: than digging a deep landing hole and filling it with fertile soil, it is much better to create an embankment from it.

Again. It would be more reasonable to do as follows: where it is exactly necessary according to the construction plan, remove the top soil layer in advance and store it. And not somewhere, namely, at the place of your future plantings, so that he would fall asleep weeds. During the months of construction, the turf under it will die, and then you will rake clean, loose earth. So carefully remove the layer of earth in place of all the foundations under the hozblok, garage, etc.

How to build fertile soil

As students, we were taught while digging a soil section not to mix the upper fertile layer with the rest of the subsoil, but to lay it on the other side. And it was instructive to say that “when an American farmer lets soil scientists conduct their research on their fields, he must ensure that they put each removed layer on a separate piece of polyethylene – and then return it in the same sequence after finishing work.”

The main idea is that the fertile layer should return to the zone of the greatest number of roots. Where are the roots most? This is on top of the soil 40–50 cm on chernozem, and only 20–25 cm on soils of the middle stripe, such as sod-podzolic. There are almost no roots deeper than 20–25 cm in the forest or in the field in the middle stripe. Only a few fixing “roots go deep.

The sharp predominance of dense roots in the uppermost part of the soil profile in a layer of 20–25 cm (often even less in a layer of 10–15 cm) suggests that the main plant nutrition occurs here, and that attention! – the roots do not want to go deeper. This is mainly due to anaerobic conditions: there is no oxygen due to the dense soil monolith, often flooded with water.

Therefore, soil build-up is one of the most advantageous techniques of agricultural technology in the middle lane for all shrub and woody perennials. When creating a fertile layer in the middle zone, it makes no sense to go deep into the ground – deeper than 20-30 cm, but it is welcome to build up the fertile layer up.

If you shovel a dense layer of subsoil at a depth of 25-50 cm and simultaneously dig compost or manure into it, then this will not be as effective as if you were to top up 25 cm of fertile soil. That is, in both cases you will receive 50 cm of fertile soil, but in the second case it will be more productive, especially over a long distance.

The same approach to planting pits for fruit seedlings: if you dig a deep hole, according to the southern sample, 60–70 cm deep, and fill it with all kinds of organic matter, then water will accumulate in it, after a few years it will swim and lose all its advantages. Whereas a gentle embankment 30–50 cm high will act productively and respond to fertilizers throughout the life of an apple, grape or cherry.

And a few more words for lovers of lawns and arbors. The garden should leave freedom of choice and change. No need to deprive yourself of the opportunity to deal more closely with plants in the future. As little land as possible is initially “bricked up”: your views on garden design, your ideas and addictions to new plants may change. In addition, you can pass the baton to your children who want to arrange everything in their own way – therefore, you should always have the opportunity to re-plan the layout and expand your seating area.