How to start a flower garden

  • How to start a flower garden

How to start a flower garden

How to start a flower garden

How to start a flower garden

How to start a flower garden

5 Tips for When You Create A New Flowerbed

Discover five considerations when planning a new flowerbed in your landscape.

If you’ve always dreamed of having a gorgeous flower garden, now is the time to make it happen. Starting a flower garden is both fun and rewarding. Follow these guidelines for beginners and you’ll be off to a great start.

Step 1 – Know Your Garden

  • Know your site: The first step in creating the perfect flower garden is to familiarize yourself with the area you want to plant. Landscape architect, Mary Ellen Cowan suggests, “Really know your site. Listen to Mother Nature to learn about your land’s traits. Be honest with light, moisture conditions, and the topography.”
  • Know your soil: An important tip to ensure a successful flower garden is to do a soil test. Erin Benzakein, owner of Floret Flower Farm, explains, “To collect soil samples, dig a hole 1 foot deep, gather a few tablespoons, then repeat throughout your garden until a quart-sized jar is full. You can send your soil to a testing lab like the UMass Soil and Plant Nutrient Testing Laboratory (soiltest.umass.edu) and use the result to amend your soil before planting.”
  • Know your flowers: Cowan also says, “Learn what plants grow well in your soil. From there, you can figure out what to do design-wise.” Carol Bornstein, horticulturist at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, recommends “visiting nearby natural areas that mimic your conditions in the wild to discover the flowers that you like.” Not sure where to start? Check out this list: 21 Easiest Flowers for Beginners.
  • Know your frost cycle: To make sure your newly planted garden will survive the seasons, you will need to know your area’s average last and first frost dates. Benzakein notes this will affect when you start seeds and will allow you to plant varieties that will grow into autumn. Starting your seeds about 4 to 6 weeks before the average last frost date will give your plants a jump start. The plants will fill in faster and cut down on weeds. If you don’t have a greenhouse to start your seeds in, a covered seed tray indoors under growing lights will work.

Step 2 – Create Your Color Palette

  • Create unity: When choosing a color scheme, Bornstein suggests picking one that will “help unify the landscape.” Using variations and different tones of the same color can make an impact without dominating.
  • Create excitement: While sticking to a few similar hues can create a feeling of harmony, complimentary colors—opposites on the color wheel—create juxtaposition. For example, the combination of blue and yellow is fresh, lively, and summery. “In a sunny spot, warm tones like yellows, oranges, and reds make the most of the light, especially during the ‘golden hours,’ when the sun rises or sets. However, on their own, hot colors can appear rather flat. Blues compliment the yellows, creating harmony and vibrancy. Occasional splashes of hot orange and red add a little thrill,” says Keith Wiley of Wildside, his garden in Devon, England.
  • Create peaceful areas: Wiley adds that it is prudent to practice restraint, as too much variety can feel tiring. “You can’t have everything screaming at you in the garden. Separate areas with intense color or high drama with neutrals,” says Bill Thomas of Chanticleer. Above all, landscape designer and author of Heaven is a Garden, Jan Johnsen encourages the use of colors you personally enjoy in your garden.

Step 3 – Design Like a Pro

  • Design with shape: When designing a flower garden, world-renowned Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf suggests that shape is a good place to start. Perennials have several basic shapes: spires, plumes, daisies, buttons, globes, umbels, and screens. Try putting different shapes together and see if they spark off each other. Some combinations will be vibrant and dynamic, others may clash. Planting similar flower shapes together can reinforce an idea.
  • Design with repetition: The repetition of key shapes or colors provides a sense of calm and visual unity. Ideally, advises Wiley, plants you repeat should have a long season, not look untidy after flowering, and flourish in the garden’s conditions. Strategic repetition of flowers offers continuity when moving from one area of the garden to another.
  • Design in layers: Matt James, in his book, How to Plant a Garden, states, “When planting, try to pull one layer subtly into another — and vice versa — to create a more natural look, rather than simply arrange the layers like a staircase.” Oudolf warns that you can “lose plants in the back,” so it is important to make sure sight lines remain to see flowers at the rear of a border.
  • Design in combinations: “Think in terms of plant combinations rather than individual species,” suggests Sean Hogan of Cistus Nursery near Portland, Oregon. Mixing plant heights, sizes, colors, scale, and textures keeps the garden engaging in all seasons. Relaxed plantings will provide color, movement and a meadow-like feel.
  • Design with fragrance and movement: Dan Hinkley, plant hunter and author, has discovered what he enjoys most in his garden — fragrance and movement. “These elements of a garden aren’t included in the design often enough.” He advises to take advantage of natural breeze patterns to allow the scents of flowers to waft toward your home or patio areas.

Bonus Flower Garden Tips

  • For a more productive flower garden and to encourage longer stems (better for cut flowers and floral design), Benzakein advises to plant flowers close together. “This will reduce weeds and increase the number of flowers you produce.”
  • If you are growing flowers for cutting, “Don’t forget to grow foliage and filler plants for arrangements,” says Benzakein.
  • Donna Hackman, retired garden designer, recommends that if you want your flowers to spill over in a natural way, but don’t want them within reach of the mower’s blades, install rectangles of flagstone around the beds. Also, keep paths between flower beds wide, so flowers won’t be trampled underfoot when walking through the garden.
  • Hackman also suggests choosing smaller cultivars to reduce pruning work and planting shrubs at the center of your flower beds to provide year-round structure and height.

With seemingly endless design options, these tips will guide you in making the best choices when starting a flower garden, allowing you to sit back on a nice afternoon and enjoy the fruits—or blossoms—of your labor.

  • How to start a flower garden

How to start a flower garden

How to start a flower garden

How to start a flower garden

How to start a flower garden

5 Tips for When You Create A New Flowerbed

Discover five considerations when planning a new flowerbed in your landscape.

If you’ve always dreamed of having a gorgeous flower garden, now is the time to make it happen. Starting a flower garden is both fun and rewarding. Follow these guidelines for beginners and you’ll be off to a great start.

Step 1 – Know Your Garden

  • Know your site: The first step in creating the perfect flower garden is to familiarize yourself with the area you want to plant. Landscape architect, Mary Ellen Cowan suggests, “Really know your site. Listen to Mother Nature to learn about your land’s traits. Be honest with light, moisture conditions, and the topography.”
  • Know your soil: An important tip to ensure a successful flower garden is to do a soil test. Erin Benzakein, owner of Floret Flower Farm, explains, “To collect soil samples, dig a hole 1 foot deep, gather a few tablespoons, then repeat throughout your garden until a quart-sized jar is full. You can send your soil to a testing lab like the UMass Soil and Plant Nutrient Testing Laboratory (soiltest.umass.edu) and use the result to amend your soil before planting.”
  • Know your flowers: Cowan also says, “Learn what plants grow well in your soil. From there, you can figure out what to do design-wise.” Carol Bornstein, horticulturist at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, recommends “visiting nearby natural areas that mimic your conditions in the wild to discover the flowers that you like.” Not sure where to start? Check out this list: 21 Easiest Flowers for Beginners.
  • Know your frost cycle: To make sure your newly planted garden will survive the seasons, you will need to know your area’s average last and first frost dates. Benzakein notes this will affect when you start seeds and will allow you to plant varieties that will grow into autumn. Starting your seeds about 4 to 6 weeks before the average last frost date will give your plants a jump start. The plants will fill in faster and cut down on weeds. If you don’t have a greenhouse to start your seeds in, a covered seed tray indoors under growing lights will work.

Step 2 – Create Your Color Palette

  • Create unity: When choosing a color scheme, Bornstein suggests picking one that will “help unify the landscape.” Using variations and different tones of the same color can make an impact without dominating.
  • Create excitement: While sticking to a few similar hues can create a feeling of harmony, complimentary colors—opposites on the color wheel—create juxtaposition. For example, the combination of blue and yellow is fresh, lively, and summery. “In a sunny spot, warm tones like yellows, oranges, and reds make the most of the light, especially during the ‘golden hours,’ when the sun rises or sets. However, on their own, hot colors can appear rather flat. Blues compliment the yellows, creating harmony and vibrancy. Occasional splashes of hot orange and red add a little thrill,” says Keith Wiley of Wildside, his garden in Devon, England.
  • Create peaceful areas: Wiley adds that it is prudent to practice restraint, as too much variety can feel tiring. “You can’t have everything screaming at you in the garden. Separate areas with intense color or high drama with neutrals,” says Bill Thomas of Chanticleer. Above all, landscape designer and author of Heaven is a Garden, Jan Johnsen encourages the use of colors you personally enjoy in your garden.

Step 3 – Design Like a Pro

  • Design with shape: When designing a flower garden, world-renowned Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf suggests that shape is a good place to start. Perennials have several basic shapes: spires, plumes, daisies, buttons, globes, umbels, and screens. Try putting different shapes together and see if they spark off each other. Some combinations will be vibrant and dynamic, others may clash. Planting similar flower shapes together can reinforce an idea.
  • Design with repetition: The repetition of key shapes or colors provides a sense of calm and visual unity. Ideally, advises Wiley, plants you repeat should have a long season, not look untidy after flowering, and flourish in the garden’s conditions. Strategic repetition of flowers offers continuity when moving from one area of the garden to another.
  • Design in layers: Matt James, in his book, How to Plant a Garden, states, “When planting, try to pull one layer subtly into another — and vice versa — to create a more natural look, rather than simply arrange the layers like a staircase.” Oudolf warns that you can “lose plants in the back,” so it is important to make sure sight lines remain to see flowers at the rear of a border.
  • Design in combinations: “Think in terms of plant combinations rather than individual species,” suggests Sean Hogan of Cistus Nursery near Portland, Oregon. Mixing plant heights, sizes, colors, scale, and textures keeps the garden engaging in all seasons. Relaxed plantings will provide color, movement and a meadow-like feel.
  • Design with fragrance and movement: Dan Hinkley, plant hunter and author, has discovered what he enjoys most in his garden — fragrance and movement. “These elements of a garden aren’t included in the design often enough.” He advises to take advantage of natural breeze patterns to allow the scents of flowers to waft toward your home or patio areas.

Bonus Flower Garden Tips

  • For a more productive flower garden and to encourage longer stems (better for cut flowers and floral design), Benzakein advises to plant flowers close together. “This will reduce weeds and increase the number of flowers you produce.”
  • If you are growing flowers for cutting, “Don’t forget to grow foliage and filler plants for arrangements,” says Benzakein.
  • Donna Hackman, retired garden designer, recommends that if you want your flowers to spill over in a natural way, but don’t want them within reach of the mower’s blades, install rectangles of flagstone around the beds. Also, keep paths between flower beds wide, so flowers won’t be trampled underfoot when walking through the garden.
  • Hackman also suggests choosing smaller cultivars to reduce pruning work and planting shrubs at the center of your flower beds to provide year-round structure and height.

With seemingly endless design options, these tips will guide you in making the best choices when starting a flower garden, allowing you to sit back on a nice afternoon and enjoy the fruits—or blossoms—of your labor.

Not everybody starts planting all on the same day. If you live in Illinois you might start planting some time in March or April. But if you live in Florida or Southern California you might be able to plant things all year round. So, what guides us in knowing when it’s safe to start planting certain plants? The clue is called climate zones and it is based on frost-free dates for the area of the country or state where you live.

There is a frost-free date in the spring that tells you when it’s safe to start planting tender vegetables or plants that do not like frost. There is also a first-frost date for fall that tells you when it’s going to get too cold for a lot of things to grow well. The number of days between these two is called the growing season .

Some plants really like the cold and do well. Other plants are real warm weather lovers and don’t even like a slight chill. With more experience, you’ll soon get to know which plants like it cold and which ones like it warm.

How to start a flower garden

To find out the frost-free dates for your part of the country or state, visit a library, garden center or Extension office and look up or ask about the frost-free dates in your area. You may also see large maps with bright colors and numbers from 1 – 11 on them. These are hardiness zone maps . You’ll see that zone 1 is the coldest (shortest growing season) up to zone 11 (longest growing season).

Another thing to keep in mind is that a date on the calendar does not always give you the green light to start gardening. Don’t forget to always get to know your soil up close and personal by giving it the squeeze test. This will tell you when you can work your soil safely.

How to start a flower garden

Whether you have 50 or 500 square feet (4.7 or 47 sq. m.) of area that you would like to plant with flowers, the process should be fun and enjoyable. A flower garden overflows with opportunities for the creative spirit to come alive. I’m not an “artsy” person per se, but I always tell people that the garden is my canvas because it truly is my way of letting the artist out. It relieves my stress (although a dead rose bush can send me into a whirlwind), and it’s a great workout too!

So if you’re ready to turn that bare spot in your yard into the next Mona Lisa, just follow my brushstrokes…

Determine Your Flower Garden Theme

There are many ways to approach your canvas, and it’s really quite up to you. There is no right or wrong here. I particularly enjoy heading over to the local library or bookstore and pulling up a chair in the gardening aisle.

Pouring over pictures of English gardens, their classic beauty is always a welcome sight, or delving into dreams of sophisticated Japanese gardens that inspire zen. Or, make up your own gardening theme using my next suggestion.

Plan Your Flower Garden Layout

Once you have an idea of which direction you want to take your masterpiece, grab a piece of graph paper and some colored pencils and map it out. You many want to try a handy tool that I found at the Better Homes and Gardens website called the “Plan-a-Garden.” You can sketch out your home and other structures on the site and then draw the layout of your flower garden around them. Be sure to observe if the site you want to use gets full or partial sun or mostly shade, as that will drastically change the types of flowers and foliage you can plant in your beds.

Be specific in your diagram, too. If you have 4 feet (1 m.) of flower bed space against the garden shed, you probably only have room for four clumps of giant pink zinnias there. Michelangelo only had so much ceiling to paint in the Sistine Chapel, after all.

Growing Flower Seeds or Buying Flower Plants

There are two ways to go about actually getting the flowers for your garden, and they don’t have to exclude one another. If it’s still winter and you have plenty of time before actually applying the glorious colors to your canvas, you may want to save some money and grow the flowers from seed. The variety of colors, textures, heights, and habits of the flowers in seed catalogs today is absolutely mind-boggling. Shopping for the seeds is one of my favorite things to do in late winter and watching the tiny seeds grow is something no person should miss out on.

However, if you’re short on time (and who isn’t?) or you prefer to buy certain flowers from the nursery and grow others from seed, then get ready to shop ’til you drop! A warm greenhouse nursery on a cold spring day is so tempting and really quite handy when your poppy seeds have once again failed to sprout.

Construct Your Flower Garden

Roll up your sleeves and the sleeves of all the helpers you can find! This is when the magic really takes place. You’ve planned and you’ve shopped and you’ve waited for that first warm day of spring. It’s time to get dirty! A shovel, a dirt rake, and a trowel are definite necessities for loosening the soil and creating holes for each plant.

Adding some well rotted animal manure and compost to the soil is almost always a good idea too, but be sure to do this a week before you plant so as not to shock the plants.

Identify what type of soil, sun, and water each plant likes before sentencing the sunflowers to their doom in that shady spot behind the garage. If you have a wet, slow-draining spot in your yard, like I do, check to see if any of the plants you’ve chosen like a boggy marsh. Be aware of the quirks in your canvas before you plant and you’ll save yourself a headache later on!

Enjoy Your Flower Garden Design

The most amazing thing about the flower garden is that it’s always changing. Its colors and patterns will never look the same as they did yesterday. One cold spring morning you may decide you want to start the painting all over again. See ya’ later daylilies! Or maybe you just want to add a few alyssum here and some hostas there. It’s a constant creation, and you really can’t go wrong.

Flowers add color, beauty, and cheer to yards and landscapes everywhere. Here are some good tips on how to get started.

How To Start

Take time to plan. Sketch out your garden. Include the size, shape, and location. Look at the spot. Is the area sunny, shady, or a little bit of both? Watch it during the day to see how much or when the sun hits this spot. Impatiens, coleus, dusty miller, pansies, and begonias are a few annuals that do well in shade. Petunias, zinnias, and marigold, are a few varieties that grow best in full sun.

Choose the Right Flowers

Before you decide which flowers you might like, do your homework. Look in seed catalogs, garden books, and the Internet for information on the growing conditions needed for various varieties. Flower shows, greenhouses, and garden centers also offer good advice.

Consider Colors

Do you want the flowers to accent your house colors, or attract hummingbirds and butterflies, or are you interested in a theme such as red, white, and blue?

Know Your Growing Season

Keep in mind the length of your growing season and the last frost dates. Learn as much as you can before you plant the seeds or transplants.

Designing The Bed

Once you learn which types of flowers will grow in your location and decide which ones you’d like to plant, you can start designing the bed. Start small rather than large at first especially if you’re a beginner. You’ll need to outline the shape of your flower garden. A good way to do this is to use a garden hose. Then edge the area with a spade so you can see the borders. Till the inside area until the soil is all mixed up and there are no weeds or large rocks. Mix the soil with organic material such as compost or manure. You may want to test the pH of your soil. This will reveal its acidity and alkalinity. Most annuals do well in a level of 6.5. You can buy a tester and do this yourself, or you can take a sample to an extension service in your community.

How to start a flower garden

How to start a flower garden

How to start a flower garden

Each year I love the flow of Spring, the chance to see what will thrive in the garden this year. The opportunity to fill my porch and flower boxes with color. The hardest part- the cost of flowers. Friends, it is NOT cheap to buy any type of plant.

Even though gardening can be an expensive hobby there are ways to start or continue your flower gardens on a budget.

Master Gardener Sale

In New York State we have Cornell Cooperation Extensions in many of our counties. I personally love going to our local CCE plant sale. Every year in May you can get affordable plants from local gardeners.

I have found these plants to hold up the best because they have been growing in the same soil they are going to be transplanted in.

Many of these plant sales have garden books and the chance to speak with master gardeners.

To find ones in other states try doing a search for master gardening plant sales and then your city and state.

Buy Annual Flower Seeds

Each year I try to ONLY buy perennials. Annuals sure are pretty but they are not pretty to the budget. Remember annuals die every year. In New York where summer months are short, it’s hard on the frugal dollar.

If you have a large homesteading space, five plants won’t get you far but will put a dent in the weekly budget.

I try to start annual flower seeds indoors. Even if you don’t want to start seeds inside I’ve had success with many annuals direct sowing in the garden. Some of my favorites are:

  • Sunflowers
  • Zinna
  • Coleus
  • Cosmos
  • Morning glory
  • Marigolds

There are others but these are just the ones I always have success with.

Don’t Jump The Gun- Plant at the Right Time

The middle of April Home Depot usually does their Spring Black Friday Event. Veggies and flowers are usually $2 or less for decent sized plants. The problem? Again in upstate New York, it’s still cold. Heck, we may even have snow.

One year I took advantage of the sale and kept the plants in the garage. They needed a lot more attention though because the temperature in the garage is constantly changing.

It’s important to plant your flowers at the right time. The right time of the year and be sure to plant in early morning or evening. You never want to plant at 12 p.m. on a blazing hot day. I’ve done it and they wilt they go into shock and they may not come back.

Be Patient – Plant Perennials

Perennials are the way to go. It’s best to start a perennials garden somewhere. Be sure to give your perennials enough space between each one for good plant health. When they have enough space to grow into beautiful healthy plants you are able to propagate new plants from your original.

Each year I like to get one or two new perennials. And propagate from last years perennials to other gardens around the homestead. It’s cost effective and within a couple of years, you will have multiple gardens full of beautiful plants.

Arbor Day Cheap & Free Trees

It is worth checking out the Arbor Day Foundation Site. When you become a member you get 10 free trees. Remember these are very small and will need protection from deer, but it’s FREE!

Know Your Location

When you want to start a flower garden figure out where you want it. Watch the space to note how much sun it gets a day. This will help you when deciding what flowers to plant in it.

The worst thing you could do is fill it with plants that prefer shade and watch them all die! Been there done that. Those little tags on the plants, read them. They really do help.

When we moved to our farmhouse a little garden out front was already started, and I kept adding more plants to it from around the homestead. Until I realized there is no way for me to see and enjoy this garden unless I drive down our road.

Plant a flower garden you can enjoy more than passers-by. Out here in the country, everyone is going 60+ mph anyways, I doubt they are slowing down to look at that little garden.

I better move it this year!

Assecorize

One of my favorite things is decorating the home inside and out. This is why I love plants because they are the best decorations for the outdoors. It doesn’t mean they are the ONLY decorations. Consider adding little fairy gardens or windmills.

There are plenty of things to add to the space if you are struggling to fill it up with flowers. Big lots, Dollar Tree, Dollar General are all great places to find affordable and cute garden decor pieces.

Amazon is a fun one to look through, some are great deals and some are just entertaining. Like the one below

No matter what you decide to do don’t get discouraged with the budget. There are plenty of ways you can be resourceful and get the look you are going for. It may take more time but the efforts will be cost effective and worth it.

Follow a few basic steps, and you’ll soon have more color, texture, and even fragrance in your landscape.

A flower bed gives you a place to plant colorful annuals and perennials that can fill your yard with beauty. And flowers, of course, are essential for butterflies and other pollinators, so creating more space for blooming plants will help roll out the welcome mat for these beneficial creatures. Like a blank canvas, a new flower bed offers you the chance to get creative and fill it with whatever you can imagine (quilt garden, anyone?). The options are nearly endless, but first comes the actual building part. This might seem like a daunting project, but with a little planning, preparation, and sweat equity, you’ll soon be enjoying a more beautiful, flower-filled garden.

How to Prepare a Flower Bed

When you’re starting from scratch, there are a few things to consider first. Here are the questions you need to answer:

Where will it go?

Anywhere from a corner of the backyard to your front entryway can make a great spot for a flower bed. You can place one along a deck or porch, underneath a tree, or around a garden feature like a pond, for example. If you plant near a driveway or along a curb, be sure to consider traffic safety when it comes to plant height, and if you live where it will get icy in the winter, keep in mind salt spray, which can kill plants.

How much sunlight will the bed get?

Many popular bedding plants like annual flowers require full sun, which means a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight each day. You can certainly choose a spot in part-sun or even a mostly shady area, but you’ll be a bit more limited in what flowers will grow there.

What’s the soil like?

Most flowering annuals and perennials appreciate a loamy soil with plenty of compost added to it. Make sure to rake away rocks or other debris from the site, break up any large clods of dirt, and add compost to enrich the bed and encourage healthy plant growth. It’s also a good idea to do a soil test to find out if you should add any nutrients your plants will need to look their best.

Flower Bed Ideas and Designs

Once you’ve chosen a site, it’s time for the fun part: Flower bed design. Here are some ideas to spark your imagination.

  • Looking to a make a statement in front of the house? Wrap a small flower bed around your mailbox, line your front walkway, add color underneath a tree, or surround the bases of the front porch risers.
  • Get geometric with a perfectly square, rectangular, circular, or even triangular bed.
  • Focus on tall or dense plants to help block unattractive backyard features such as air conditioners, trash cans, swimming pool heaters, or storage sheds.

Removing Grass and Building the Flower Bed

Unless you’ve got an already bare patch of earth, you’ll need to remove the turf before planting your flowers. After marking the outline of your new flower bed with spray paint or white flour, there are two basic ways to remove the grass on the inside of your lines.

Dig up existing grass.

Digging out the grass can be hard work. Use a shovel to remove a section of grass from the center of your planned bed, then continue to remove turf by wedging the shovel (a hoe also works) under the edges of the grass. Then lift and peel the sod away. Once you have removed the grass, you can prepare the soil for planting.

Make a flower bed without digging.

Removing grass without digging is the lengthy-but-easy method. Simply cover the entire area of your future flower bed with several overlapping sheets of newspaper. Layer the paper at least six pages deep, then cover the newspaper with several inches of rich soil or compost. Water well. Over the next few months, the buried grass will die, and the newspaper will decompose while adding nutrients to the soil. For best results, keep the area covered for up to a year before planting.

Once the turf has been removed, outline the area with some landscape edging made of plastic, stone, brick, or wood. Some quirky materials you can use for edging include glass bottles, large seashells, or decorative metal fencing.

Build a raised flower bed.

There are a few ways to do this. You can use wood boards cut to the desired length. This lets you build whatever shape or size you desire. But if you prefer the simplest solution, there are raised flower bed kits that supply everything you need, and easily snap together with no need for sawing or hammering. Most kits create fairly small squares or rectangles.

Flowers are a simple way to beautify and personalize one’s living environment with color and fragrant scents. One of the best ways to enjoy flowers is to start a flower garden. Flower gardens are often found in one’s yard, but for people with minimal space an indoor garden of potted flowers is also an option. Once a person decides to start the project, he or she will need to learn how to start a flower garden. There are many ways to learn about flower gardening, such as conducting an Internet search, visiting one’s local nursery to speak with a floral expert, or talking with neighbors and friends for useful flower gardening tips.

To start flower gardening, one of the first things that a person will want to do is determine the location. If a person lives in a home with a yard, an outdoor garden is a likely choice. When choosing a location consider the amount of sun that the area receives. This is important because the sun will play a role in the type of flowers that a person can plant. A majority of flowers require at minimum six hours of sunlight. This is considered full sunlight. Other types of flowers may do well in partial or even full shade conditions. The condition of the soil is also of importance. Any potential location should have well-drained soil; however, if the soil in one’s yard is poorly drained it may be improved by creating a raised bed of soil. Testing the soil is one of the smartest flower gardening tips that one can follow. This will let the gardener know what the pH of the soil is and if it is lacking in potassium or phosphorous. The results of the test will advise the gardener as to how much lime is necessary in order to elevate the pH to the required level of 6.0 to 6.5. The results will also advise the gardener on how much potassium and phosphorous is needed, if any.

When choosing the type of flowers to plant in the flower garden, look for a selection that adds visual variety in terms of color and height. One should also select a combination of flowers that bloom at various times throughout the year so that the garden will always have colorful blooms. The local nursery is one’s best bet at choosing the right type of flowers. Not only will they advise gardeners on what type of flowers to use for the amount of sunlight, but they can also help select the right type of perennials and annuals to create the most attractive year-round garden. If a person is planting potted flowers indoors, the nursery is also able to help him or her select the best type of plant for growing indoors. Starting from seed is also one of the helpful flower gardening tips to consider. While it is faster to buy ready-to-plant flowers from the nursery, a packet of seeds is typically less expensive. Another benefit of using seeds is the variety, which is often greater than what is available at one’s local nursery. When starting from seed it is important to know whether it must be started indoors or directly in the garden, the rate of seedling growth, and how many days it takes to bloom. A person will need the appropriate containers to start the seeds; ideally they will be two-inches deep at minimum and have holes for draining. A porous growing mix is also ideal when first planting seeds. Seedlings can be transplanted into a growing mix that contains twenty percent compost medium or soil from the garden.

In addition to learning how to start a flower garden, a person will also need to know how to maintain it. A large part of care involves watering the flowers properly. A flower garden requires one-inch of water a week. Rain provides for some of this, but if it hasn’t rained for a while then the plants will need to be watered one to two times weekly. The garden should be watered during the earlier part of the day, while it is still cool. Watering later in the day when temperatures are high and the sun is at its highest can cause water to evaporate too quickly and should be avoided. In addition, water at night should also be avoided as it promotes disease. An eco-friendly way to water one’s plants is to use a drip system which applies water directly on the roots. Adding a layer of mulch to the garden assists in the care of the plant by insulating the roots and reducing the number of weeds and by helping with water conservation. Removing any weeds and cutting back perennials will also keep the garden looking attractive and encourage plant growth.