How to Garden with Flowers
Flower gardening is one my most satisfying types of gardening. Whether you are planting from seeds or established root balls, watching the flower garden garden bloom before your eyes is so exciting! It is best to spend some time familiarizing yourself with the whats, hows and whys of flower gardening to get the best results, before you head to your local nursery for plants.
I like to walk my yard and look at where my flower beds are already stationed or where I intend to build a new bed. I then gauge how long the sun is sitting on the different beds and what type of shade is provided. This exercise gives me information on the type of plant that would be best grown in a particular area, regarding how much sun is needed for each plant. I also like to have a good measurement of how large the flower bed is, because I want to have the right amount of spacing for the plants to flourish..
The three types of flowers to work with are perennials, annuals and biennials. Perennials come back every year with no replanting; annuals have to be planted each year; and biennials last at least two growing seasons. A good combination of all three types will give you a nice variety of flowers. Most annuals bloom all summer long with proper care and add brilliant color to your display. Perennials bloom for short periods of time, and with planning, you can ensure that as one variety is shutting down for the year, another type will start to bloom.
When getting ready to plant your garden, take the starter plants and place them in your prepared flower bed to get an idea of what the final result will be. This way you won’t be surprised and disappointed by how it looks after the plants are already in the ground. Now you’re ready to plant.
- Dig a hole just slightly bigger than the plant's rootball.
- Tap each side of the flower's container with a trowel to loosen the rootball.
- Place one hand over the top of the rootball and turn the container upside down, so the rootball is resting on your hand.
- Pull the container off with the other hand.
- Set the rootball in the hole right side up.
- Cover the rootball with loose soil and press down firmly.
- Water the rootball thoroughly.
- Prepare your soil by scraping off the top layer of soil with a shovel and rake it to gently loosen.
- Sprinkle the seeds liberally around the planting area.
- Sprinkle potting soil over the top.
- Water thoroughly.
- Plant bulbs in areas with good drainage.
- Don’t use commercial fertilizer or fresh manure when planting bulbs.
- When cutting flowers, cut as little foliage as possible because that’s where food is stored for next year's blooming.
- Let foliage die on its own before trimming it back or digging up bulbs. Don’t trim back healthy green foliage or the bulb will not perform well next year.
Be vigilant with your weeding and make sure your garden gets at least an inch of water a week. Keep your plants healthy and attractive by pinching off dead blooms next to the mother plant.