Flower gardening is a great way to add color and beauty to your yard. But it can also be a difficult task for new gardeners.
When planting flowers, there are several tips you should follow. These tips can help you get started on the right foot and make your garden more beautiful.
Choose Your Plants Carefully
The right plant at the right time can make all the difference to your garden. The correct plant will establish quickly, thrive, and have a healthy root system to boot!
Choosing the right plants for your area may require some detective work, but it’s well worth the effort. There are numerous options out there to choose from, including heirlooms, perennials, annuals, and even native plants.
The best plants are those that will give you the most bang for your buck, i.e., those that are not too expensive or invasive to your area. You can even try to match your local climatic conditions with the appropriate plants. For example, if you live in an area that receives a lot of rain and has shady areas, consider planting a slew of cacti, succulents or cypress trees. You can also incorporate evergreens to add year-round interest to your garden. The best part is, they’re low maintenance and will add beauty to your yard for years to come.
Prepare the Soil
Every gardener knows that it takes good soil to make a successful flower bed. The right amount of organic matter (especially compost) will improve the texture and increase the supply of air to plants and soil organisms.
Healthy soil has just the right space between its particles for plants to take up atmospheric nitrogen and convert it into usable form for flowers, vegetables and other crops. Silty and heavy clay soils have particles that are too close together to provide the air plants need.
A layer of mulch around your newly planted flowers will help retain moisture and prevent evaporation. Water deeply and often, but not too frequently, to encourage root growth.
To test the moisture content of your soil, take a handful and squeeze it. If it crumbles easily into a ball, it’s dry enough to work. If it stays together, it’s too wet. Check it again in a few days to see if it’s ready to be worked.
The best time to plant flowers is not only based on the climate of your region but also the type of flower you are planning to grow. Some flowers require full sun while others prefer shade.
In addition, the soil temperature also affects when to plant. Randaci says most plants like the soil to be about 65 degrees Fahrenheit; however, some will tolerate temperatures lower than this.
If you live in a warmer climate, planting flowers earlier is a good idea. The last frost date for your zone can help you determine this.
You may even want to start your flower seeds indoors if you know that the weather will be warm and sunny. This will give you a head start on the season and allow you to plant more varieties.
Many flower plants are bred for specific growing conditions, so you must always follow the instructions on your seed packet or with your local extension service. When planting, you should be sure to keep your new flowers protected from the cold weather and ensure that their roots are well nourished before they can thrive in their new home.
As with any plant, flowers need to be harvested at the right time. Picking blooms too early or too late can decrease the vase life and lead to wilted blooms that don’t look great.
Harvesting is best done in the morning when temperatures are cool and plants are hydrated. During the harvest process, cut stems at a slant and remove any leaves that will sit below water.
Once cut, place flower stems into a bucket of water immediately after cutting. This will help hydrate the blooms and prevent them from drying out too quickly.
After removing the stems from the water bucket, it is important to check for any insect damage and remove any pests by hand. Bugs can damage petals and leaves, reducing the overall quality of the flowers.