Flower Gardening

Planning

flowerWhat do you hope to grow? Many people find that they can add vibrant pops of color by strategically placing planters of flowers around walkways, porches and patios. If you’re imagining something larger, a flowerbed might be in order. Either way, pay attention to how the sun falls on various parts of your home.

Preparing

Once you’ve selected your flower locations, it’s time to prep your space. If you’ve chosen planters, your job will be easy. Pick your containers and fill them with a high-quality organic potting mix.

If you plan to build a flowerbed, you’ll need to uproot the grass and break up the soil. Alternatively, you could build a raised bed and fill it with organic garden soil. Remember, if you’re starting with the existing topsoil, you should fortify the soil with amendments and organic fertilizer. Growing flowering plants requires more nutrients than growing your grass does, and most people are not lucky enough to have nutrient-rich topsoil.

Planting

Time to plant! Be sure to select the right varieties for the season in which you’re planting and for the light conditions (shade, partial shade, partial sun or direct sun) in your planting area.

Your flowering plants will benefit tremendously from fertilizers. When planting, mix organic granular fertilizer into the planting holes or work it into the soil in your entire bed. For an extra boost, especially when your plants are young and growing quickly, apply a liquid fertilizer every 1 to 2 weeks.

If you’re transplanting flowers, landscape fabric will help you avoid weeding. They block weeds from sprouting while allowing nutrients and water to pass through to the soil.

Tending

As your plants grow and bloom, they will consume a fair amount of nutrients from the soil. Over the course of the season, be sure to replenish those nutrients with organic granular fertilizer, organic fertilizer spikes, or traditional fertilizer spikes. Also keep in mind that some plants require additional help for maximum health and blooms. Roses, for example, do best with specific types of fertilizer and soil amendments, especially bone meal, worked around the roots in the spring and fall. Regardless of fertilizer type, be sure to follow package instructions for application dosage and frequency. Over-fertilizing can do more harm than good.