You may see a neighbor’s flower garden and envy its beauty. It may give you some great flower garden ideas. You may wish you had something similar to that in your own backyard. Fortunately, you can achieve just that, even if you have never grown a garden before.
Planting a flower garden in your backyard is a great way to add color and interest to your landscape.
Growing flowers is a learning experience. You may buy certain flowers and decide later that you wish you had planted some other variety. You may decide that your garden should be planted in a different location in your backyard. Or you may decide you want your garden to be a different shape.
The good thing is that planting a flower garden is not like planting a tree. The shape of your garden can be changed during the current season or later in the year.
You can dig a garden in another location for immediate use or for the next season. You can add different varieties of flowers to your current garden or plan on planting them next year.
Starting your own garden is not that difficult as long as you follow some flower garden ideas and basic concepts.
1. Research – Your first job is to research the types of flowers that do best in your geographic location. You can do this on the internet. Or you can visit garden centers in your area.
Flowers will display a tag or label that shows a description of the type of flower and its growing requirements. It will show the hardiness zone of the plant. It will show the amount of sunlight that is required. It will show the height and spacing required for each plant. It may indicate soil conditions and watering requirements. All of this information and flower garden ideas are very important in determining how and where to plant your flowers.
2. Determine a garden location – Much depends on the size of your backyard. You should also consider the light conditions (sun, shade) of the garden location. You may want to plant close to your patio, porch, or balcony.
Visualize the size and shape of your garden area. A square or rectangular garden is not necessarily the best design for your garden. Be creative. Don’t make your decision quickly. Keep in mind that you can later change the size and shape of your garden.
3. Determine the plants that can best grow in your garden location – Some flowers require full sun. Others cannot tolerate sun at all. Most flowers require a minimum amount of sun each day.
You can take a sample of the soil for each garden location to your local agriculture extension service. They will analyze your soil and tell you what nutrients need to be added.
4. Clear your garden area of grass, weeds, and rocks – For me, this is the hardest part of gardening. The best way to do this is to use a shovel and dig up all the grass and weeds. You must dig deep in order to remove the roots so that the grass and weeds don’t return. Use a garden hose or some other material to lay out the design of your garden.
Depending upon your age and physical condition, you may want to hire a teenager in the neighborhood to help you with this chore. This is pure labor and not much fun. Hiring someone will probably not cost you much and save your back and shoulders.
5. Roto-till the soil – This can be done with your shovel. But a roto-tiller does a much better job. The size and cost of the tiller depends on the size of the garden and the quality of the soil you are tilling.
You may want to consider purchasing a small tiller. There are a few brands that are very light, inexpesive, and easy to handle. But they do a powerful job. These tillers can be used very easily several times a year.
6. Add the nutrients recommended by your local extension service – The alkalinity and acidity of the soil are critical. Some soil will be high in clay content. Others will by sandy.
Your extension service will tell you what needs to be added. This will include compost, peat, aged manure, fertilizer, and sand (if it is a clay soil). Empty the bags of nutrients and spread them evenly over the existing soil.
It is best to then till the nutrients into the soil. Having the right type of soil is a critical step to having a successful garden. After tilling, the soil should be “fluffy” and smooth. It should be somewhere between clay and sand. When you pick it up, it should easily fall between your fingers.
If you don’t have a tiller, use a shovel and use the “dig and flip” method to mix the nutrients with the existing soil. Besides being hard on your muscles, the resulting soil is not mixed as well as with a tiller.
7. Finally, it’s time to plant flowers. Before planting, lay out how you want your flowers planted in your garden design. I have always done this using my own hand-written sketches.
I have always enjoyed this part of gardening. I do a lot of this during the cold months of winter. First, I make a list of perennial and annual flowers I want to plant. I include shrubs to the garden design in order to define the garden and add interest.
I take into account the mature height of each flower plus the space required between each plant. I don’t want a taller plant blocking a shorter one. A combination of colors that are pleasing to the eye is very important.
The easy way to purchase flowers is to buy them from a garden center. In many cases, I have buy seeds from a catalog or online.
Many times, I start the seeds indoors. I provide conditions necessary for these seeds to sprout during the winter and grow. Seed catalogs give a much better selection of types of flowers to grow than in garden centers.
When there is no longer any chance of a frost, I transplant the seedling into the garden. My best flowers have been grown from seed, primarily because I can grow the specific varieties I want.
Do you want flowers blooming throughout the growing seasons? You can plant flowering bulbs in the fall to bloom in the early spring. Chrysanthemums and other late booming plants can be used for the fall. You may want to use hollies and other evergreen shrubs that produce red and orange berries in the winter months.
8. Watering is very important – The label or tag will show the watering requirements for each plant. It is best to plant those flowers with similar watering requirements near each other. In general, you should water your flowers each day for the first week after planting; every other day during the second week; and at least once per week after that.
9. Add mulch to your garden – This helps to prevent weeks. It also conserves moisture for your plants.
I hope this article has given you some good flower garden ideas to get you started. If you have any questions, please contact me using the “Contact Me” button at the top of the page.
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