Whether you want to begin gardening orexpect gorgeous flowersto add bright colors and pleasant fragrance to your yards, it’s high time to know “How do you start a flower garden for beginners?”
While gardening is somehow challenging, our step-by-step guide below will help you find it a rewarding one.
Step 1 - Know Your Garden
Start by knowing your garden well to pick the right plant varieties and prepare the bed properly.
Remove the grass
It is essential to clear the sod to provide your flowers with enough room for growing & flourishing.
Dig these ongoing enemies out by using a garden trowel, shovel, or hand fork. Get it under the stubborn grass and its roots,then pull out the top grass layer.
For a more effort-saving route, put newspapers all over the ground (no less than five layers in thickness). And on the newspapers’ top, lay out a 3-inch thick covering, (or thicker)of potting soil well mixed with compost/topsoil.
Leave this layer on the surface for approximately four months, which is long enough for the sod to die off and the newspaper to turn into part of your soil.
Practice this process from one year to another to avoid new grass growing.
Till the garden
To make the soil loose and crumbly for planting a productive garden, there is no better way than tilling it up. How to do it? Follow these simple tips below:
- Mark out each corner of the spot where you want to till the soil with wood stakes.To mark the garden edges, you can either tie a string between the stakes or sprinkle powdered limestone.
- Use a tiller or a pitch fork and start tilling at one end of the marked out garden plot. Like the way you mow the lawn, go across your garden one row at a time.
- No need to rush. Gradually make your own rows.
- Remove all of the grass roots in the garden patch by digging up visible weeds as well as use a rake to break up any clods. Remove any rocks spotted from this area.
- Excessive tilling can make your soil more compact rather than breaking it up. So, till the soil in each row one time instead of going back over a row.
- To test how perfect your soil is to till, squeeze a handful of it. If it is too wet that a clump is formed, it cannot work well. Meanwhile, go with the soil that crumbles when being squeezed, then you will not have to worry about dealing with hard chunks of soil.
- Based on the testing results of the soil quality, add the right amendments. Till the soil one more time to work all the necessary materials into it.
Enrich your soil
Since not all garden soil is perfect for growing plants and flowers, you need to make yours more fertile.
Basically, most amendments can work. Gardeners can even take advantage of leaf mold/humus or old manure.
If you find it hard to dig into your soil, simply leave the organic material which features a great blend of all vital nutrients on top, and after one month or two, it will slowly become part of your soil.
Create your own raised beds
Each type of soil requires special treatment. While everyone loves fertile and friable soil, even the most experienced gardeners find it hard to work with the soil that is particularly rocky or sandy or that with such a high clay content.
If you find yourself in this situation,creating a raised bed or a garden box is not a bad idea.
Not only does it keep pathway wide from the soil but it also prevent sits compaction and ensures good drainage.
To create your own raised gardens, you can purchase a kit from a gardening store nearby;then fill it with potting mix.
On filling your garden beds, it’s advisable to mix in some granular fertilizer, which can slowly get your plants & flowers off to a good start but offer the advantage of longevity.
For the very first time applying fertilizer of the season, you can broadcast it either by hand or using a spreader onto the target plants’ soil surface.
Spreading fertilizer by hand only works when you have a small garden. If you expect a consistent and uniform spread on a garden over one hundred square feet, it’s better to purchase a broadcast spreader.
Step 2: Choose the Correct Location
Familiarizing yourself with the area you want to plant is the very first and most important step in creating your own picture-perfect flower garden.
As each location has different topography as well as light & moisture conditions, how much sun and shade your area gets is among the most essential factors to consider when thinking about what plants to grow.
Almost all kinds of vegetables and flowers need a daily full sunlight dose from 6 to 8 hours for ultimate plant health and productivity.
So spend one day outdoors observing your garden to figure out which location receivesfull or partial shade versus full sun.
If your yard is fairly shady, don’t despair. All you need to do is to pick shade-tolerant varieties which can bring it to life.
Meanwhile, sunny borders are the best spots for flowers that can thrive in direct sun& drought-like conditions.
For example, blanket flower, black-eyed Susan, dianthus, moss rose,petunia, marigold, and purple cone flower should not be grown in shade, but a lot of other plants like coral bells,dead nettles, or lady’s mantle appreciate it.
To have an idea of how much sunlight your plant requires, check its tags or ask for the advice of any staff at a local garden center.
Step 3: Know your plants & flowers
It can be a bit of struggle to keep plants & flowers alive in your property. However, as long as you can identify the plants that can grow well in your soil can you keep your yard flourish & healthy all year round.
When properly planted, annuals such as sweet alyssum, sunflowers, zinnias, marigolds, and cosmos flowers are easy to start & grow from seed providing you with an instant flower garden with the right varieties.
Another joy to grow is perennials that need little care,dependably bloom in any soil varieties, and return every year.
Start your project with only one kind or two and get them growing!
Other questions to look up when choosing what to grow in your garden are:
- How much water do these plants need?
- Are there any sorts of plant food or fertilizers that they want?
- How frequently should you prune and trim them?
- Are they poisonous or edible to you, your kids,and your pets?
- How far apart should they be from each other?
Use annuals and ornamental grasses like Golden Butterfly, Deep Purple Salvia, Vanilla Butterfly, Fireworks Pennisetum, Heliopsis & Helianthus varieties, Thalictrum rochebrunianum, and Muhly grass if you want to add structure & height in the landscape.
Balloon Flower, Black-eyed Susan, Blazing star, Bugleweed, Clematis, Coneflower, and Cranesbill geranium allow for varied and appealing displays.
And consider heather, winter aconites, Japanese quince, cyclamen,Crocus flowers, and Iris unguicularis to anchor your pots & flower beds as well as brighten up the evergreen interest in winter.
Step 4: Invest in must-have garden tools
Regardless of your garden’s size, the right tools make working in your garden taking care of your outdoor space a relaxing & rewarding hobby instead of a boring and tiring chore.
The list of basic garden tools, equipment, and essentials should comprise:
- Hand fork/digging fork
- Hand trowel
- Hand pruner
- Garden hoe
- Scuffle hoe
- Dirt rake
- Leaf rake
- Garden shears
- Long-handled pruners
- Garden Shovel or D handle Shovel
- Outdoor watering cans
- Garden trug
- Bulb & Bedding Plant Auger
- Hand tools
- Plant dividing tools
Step 5: Choose the right seeds or transplants
Gardeners, regardless of their experience, prefer a good combination of seeds and transplants.
While the former is perfect for some veggies, the latter, which ensures much more control and predictable result,is the best choice for other varieties.
Seeds are fully packed with almost everything needed to quickly germinate and fully thrive for a delicate root system.
All you need to do is to give them a favorable spot with the right amount of sunlight &heat and provide them with enough moisture.
But as we might all know,those seeds have to struggle with weed pressure as well as any weather hazards such as high wind, frost & high temperature, flood, storm, and drought.
Transplants and starts are essentially baby vegetable plants, which can mature quicker and promise an earlier harvest, thus giving you a way huger jump start on the season. Transplants are often available in packs of 4 or 6 or pots.
Tip: During their last week indoors, withhold moisture and fertilizer less frequently to condition your transplants to life outdoors.
Though much of your own decision about transplanting versus direct sowing comes down to your personal preference, there are:
Some plants which prefer starting, developing, and finishing in the same place such as Sweet Alyssum, Bachelor's Button, Blue Woodruff, California Poppy (Eschscholzia), candytuft, sweet peas, Satin flower, Californian Poppy, and Hardy Geranium.
And some varieties that want to start in pots or containers and finish in an outdoor area like daylilies, chrysanthemums, asters, lavender, rosemary, candytuft, euonymus,hostas, balloon flowers, oriental poppies, and butterfly weed.
How to transplant your flowers?
- Using a sharp spade or shovel to remove your flowers from their pot. Try not to break the stems.
- Inspect their roots. Discard any broken or diseased pieces and keep the plants’ healthiest parts only. And never leave them exposed to wind, heat, or sun.
- Locate them in a pre-prepared hole. Only when the soil is sandy or loose should the plants sit a little bit higher. Otherwise, they should sit at the soil level. Before placing the transplant into the hole, make sure to water it well.
- Lightly firm the soil around the transplant with your hands.
- Once again, slowly yet deeply water the transplant so that it can settle in. Ideally, the entire root mass of the new transplant is thoroughly soaked but there is no or just a little water in the hole.
Step 6: Keep it up
Help your lovely flower garden reach its fullest potential by practicing all the essential garden chores.
Water your flowers. Feed the soil with some time-release fertilizer. Pull weeds & remove diseased, dying, and dead vegetation.
Step 7: Enjoy your full harvest
As crops mature, it's high time to enjoy the fruits of your labors!
It’s better to understand the specific details and requirements of every single flower species and variety.
Whether it is 100 percent, 75 percent or 50 percent open blooms, your flowers should be harvested at their peak time and the desired maturity.
You can harvest the cut flowers either in the early morning (from 5:30 to 8:30am)when the dew has just dried off or in the evening, when the heat of the day cannot make your flowers stressed.
Grade and bunch your properly conditioned cut flowers right after harvesting and before storing them in water.
To ultimately benefit from getting your hands a little dirty, instead of going to any garden centers and buying a cart full of garden tools & plants, take some time to review these planting basic.
Hope that our article on “How do you start a flower garden for beginners?” can help you with this project!