An attractive flower garden serves multiple purposes. It adds a pleasant scent to the entire space, discourages pests, invites pollinators, and protects more delicate plants from the sun.
You can grow your own flowers at home if you have enough space, the proper equipment, and a sunny, moist, and preferably shady place.
How to set up a flower garden
If you’re starting with gardening or consider yourself something of a budding green thumb but could use some more advanced flower gardening advice, this article is for you.
- Determine your climate’s hardiness zone.
What kinds of crops will do well in your area and when you can expect frost depends on the climate and the time of year.
- Choose a suitable site.
Your new flower bed should be in an area with sun and shade unless you want to grow desert or heat-tolerant species.
The garden’s shape and size may change depending on location and whether you grow on a slope or in a flat, round area. The types of flowers you can plant will depend on these considerations.
Have the soil tested for your garden
Determine the acidity or alkalinity of your soil by doing a soil test. Many flowering plants prefer an acidic or neutral soil pH, while others perform better in an alkaline environment.
Knowing what kind of fertilizer you will require to alter the soil’s pH or which flowers might thrive there depends on knowing what nutrients are deficient in (or abundant in) your soil.
Plants can’t thrive in soil that’s too dry, too full of rocks, or that has an acidic or alkaline pH, so improve your soil’s condition before planting.
Pick out some blossoms
You can choose the flowers you want to plant in your flower bed after you know their size and location. After you’ve determined their size and location, it’s tempting to select the most visually appealing blooms.
You should also consider which species will thrive in your garden’s conditions. Know which of your flowers are annuals and which are perennials (such as daylilies and pansies), so you can tailor your care accordingly.
But you should replant annual flowers every year, and they might need special care. Annuals like zinnias, marigolds, and impatiens are easy to grow in a garden.
For instance, salvia, nasturtiums, and geraniums exist in annual and perennial varieties. Knowing the difference will help you provide the best care for your plants.
Practicing companion planting
For maximum productivity, try intercropping (also known as companion planting). Bulbs that bloom in the spring, such as daffodils, hibiscus and tulips, tend to get along well with one another. However, a tall plant, like a sunflower, could block the sun from reaching a smaller plant nearby.
Having a plan for when to water
Keeping to a regular watering schedule can help you tell the difference between healthy, growing plants and ones with wilted, dead leaves.
Some plants require weekly watering, while others need it only when the soil becomes dry. A plant will signal its need for watering. If you don’t water the plant, the soil will dry out and the leaves will wilt.
When leaves become submerged, they droop and curl in on themselves. In contrast, a well-watered leaf possesses vigor and a rigid stalk.
In addition to the leaves drooping, checking the soil’s moisture level at a depth of a few inches is the best technique to determine if you need to water the plants.
Install protections around your flower garden
Organic solutions (such as tea and vinegar), wire cages, or coverings can help protect your garden from certain fungal diseases and unwanted visitors that may affect the seeds, bulbs, and flower petals.
You can keep squirrels, deer, and other rodents away from your garden by planting a border of hyacinths or other animal-repelling plants.
Get the right flower gardening tools.
Tools like shovels, trimmers, gloves, and rakes are important to have on hand for gardening. Be sure to have specialized garden equipment and tools that you may need to grow your chosen flowers.
Keep your equipment clean and hygienic to stop the spread of disease, and put it away from the sun so it won’t rust.
What month is best to start planting flowers?
The month of March is an excellent time to plant spring flowers. You should only plant frost-hardy plants at this time. If the spring weather is inconsistent, you should wait to plant spring flowers.
How to prepare the ground for a flower garden
In order to ensure the success of your flower bed planting, you should follow these steps:
- Locate a place
The first thing you should do when you want to start a new flower bed is to choose a suitable spot. Choose a spot with no underground utility wires and plant whatever you like.
- Make an outline of the flower garden
After settling on a site, you can choose the garden’s size to fit your preferences. You can use strings and stakes or a garden hose laid on the ground to mark off the area where the garden will go. Make use of a flexible material that you can move around to your liking.
If the bed is circular, you have to begin with the center. After that, divide the distance to the perimeter into manageable chunks and drive a stake there. This will guarantee a circular garden layout.
You can use flour and sand to mark off the garden’s borders after tracing their outlines with a string or hose.
Once you do this, there will be a line where the outline should be. To make adjustments, you can still use water to remove your line and lay a new one.
- Get rid of the plants and weeds
You should remove the existing plants to make room for your new garden’s layout. Grass, trees, weeds, flowers, and other plants are all possible. Removing plants and grasses is simpler than removing bushes and trees, although both methods work.
The first thing you need to do is spread several layers of newspaper over the soil and the plants already there. The next step is to spread the compost over the newspaper. Ensure you have a layer of compost with a thickness of between 2 and 3 inches.
Make sure you pick a printed newspaper that is entirely white and black and doesn’t have any color ads. Although regular newspaper print is not harmful to the environment, the vibrant colors in those advertisements are.
Covering the garden bed like this until spring is fine. Leaving it up during the winter and fall will prevent flower plants growing beneath it from receiving any sunlight, killing them.
Over time, the newspaper will break down beneath the compost, and you’ll have a larger volume of finished compost to incorporate into the ground. In addition to eliminating the existing vegetation, this organic method of flower bed creation also enriches the soil.
- Use a shovel to turn the soil
Turn the bed with a garden tool like a garden fork, spade, tiller, or shovel once the weeds have been taken care of. The first attempts at digging may require the use of a shovel. This is due to the dirt being tougher to penetrate and the tool’s strength.
It’s important to have soil that’s humid but not drenched. When soil becomes saturated, it clumps and becomes difficult to work with.
Soil can better absorb oxygen if it is wet and able to mix and break apart. When first turning a bed, the shovel’s depth of reach of about 12 inches is very handy.
- Add compost and mix it into the soil
After preparing the soil by turning it, the next step is to incorporate organic matter.
Lay 2 to 3 inches of compost or organic manure on the soil for optimal results. The soil must be turned once more to ensure proper mixing. This improves the soil’s structure and nutritional content.
- Taking Irrigation into consideration
Once you plant the garden, you’ll need a way to keep it watered. Installing an irrigation system is a must if you want to simplify your life.
Drip tubing is popular in flower beds because it delivers water directly to the plant’s root. With this arrangement, you can forget about dragging out the hose whenever you need to water the plants.
You can now finally plant your flowers. After establishing them, add more compost to the soil. Mulch and compost help to keep the soil moist and discourage weed growth.
How do you layout a flower bed?
- When designing a bed along a boundary, place taller plants toward the back, while in a freestanding bed, height should be concentrated in the bed’s center. To make your brightly colored flowers stand out against a background of dark evergreens or other similarly dark foliage, use a darker hue towards the rear or center of the bed. Low-growing flowers, like groundcovers, hardy asters, Grecian windflowers, and various carnations, are ideal for the beds’ foregrounds.
- Plant three or five of the same type of flower instead of just one of each. For example you can grow tulip, hibiscus flowers and roses. This is more effective in producing a cascading effect and greater visual interest.
- Don’t let the wallpaper take over the room; make sure it fits in well with the rest of the bed. Whether it is a border of shrubs or a fence, the height of the backdrop should be the same as the depth of the bed. For freestanding beds with a backdrop in the middle, the shrubbery needs to be as tall as the bed’s depth from the center to the outside edge.
- Group plants with comparable needs together in large beds. All your plants in a tiny bed should have the same needs as far as water, sunlight, soil moisture, pH, and drainage.
- Your home and property line are likely straight and angular, so add some curves to your flower beds to balance the two.
Set up your small flower garden now
When you start a flower garden, you set yourself up for a lifetime of blooms, scents, and pleasing views.
Customize your garden to reflect your tastes, then relax and take pleasure in your creation. Gardens with limited square footage need not limit your imagination.