A flower garden requires ongoing care and attention, such as watering, weeding, mulching, fertilizing, and deadheading. But with the right mix of flowers and foliage, a garden can thrive.
To get your garden to bloom its best, know a little bit about each flower’s bloom cycle. Planting plants with overlapping bloom periods can ensure a continual display.
Get Your Soil Right
The best flower garden starts with the right soil. Mixing sandy, loamy or clay soil with a good amount of organic material, such as ground-up twigs, rotted manure and old lawn clippings, can improve texture and promote drainage.
Then, pay attention to bloom times. A well-planned garden includes plants that bloom at different times of the year so your garden is always in color.
Also, pay attention to pruning and deadheading. Keeping the garden tidy helps prevent fungal diseases and promotes new growth. And regularly removing faded flowers, called deadheading, encourages the plant to move onto seed production instead. Finally, selecting a fertilizer with the correct middle number (phosphorous) for flowering plants is critical. Using slow-release granular fertilizers or liquid flowering formulas ensures a steady supply of nutrients throughout the season.
Keep It Warm
Plants need sunlight in order to grow and produce blooms. To ensure they have access to the sunlight they need, you should mulch and compost your flower garden regularly, and avoid digging or handling it when it’s wet in order to prevent soil compaction.
It’s also important to remember that not all flowers are equal, and some are easier to care for than others. To make sure you’re planting the right plants, consider your USDA growing zone, first and last frost dates, and sun requirements.
When planting a flower garden, it’s best to start with a focal point and work from there. A focal flower could be a bush with large flowers (like roses) or a mass of a single type of flower in the center of a skinny border. Then, offset these focal flowers with filler flowers (like snapdragons and feverfew) for a balanced look.
Keep It Clean
According to Homes and gardens, it’s important to remove any flowers that are past their prime and plant new seeds for future blooms. Debris left on the flower or soil surface can breed fungus and attract unwanted pests.
Choose plants with different heights when designing a garden. You’ll want to keep the tallest plants in the back so they don’t block views or impede on your neighbors’ space. You also want to consider a plant’s mature overall size when placing it in a flower garden design, so it has room to grow without crowding out its neighbors.
Learn each flower’s bloom period and when it will finish so you can plan a garden with continuous color. For instance, plant short-blooming perennials like day lilies in front of long-blooming perennials such as salvia and catmint. This helps ensure that your garden is always in bloom and looks full.
Keep It Fertilized
One of the most important things you can do to keep your flower garden blooming throughout the season is to stay on top of weeds. Weeds are the enemy of a beautiful garden, and you need to weed regularly to keep them from out-competing your flowers for sunlight, water and nutrients.
Make sure your soil has the right amount of sunlight, which you can find out by watching the area for a few days to see if it gets full sun or part sun (six hours or more).
When it comes to fertilizing, you can make your own homemade fertilizer from household items such as coffee grounds and eggshells that provide plants with essential nutrients without breaking the bank or using harmful chemicals. For new plantings, work the fertilizer into the soil before they are planted and apply a second application about 6 to 8 weeks later.
Keep It Watered
When choosing flowering plants for the garden, consider their bloom time, color combinations and bonus attributes such as fragrance. Also, pay attention to the shade requirements of the plants you are considering. Some plants will not thrive in shady areas.
Watering in the morning rather than evening is ideal as it gives the plants a chance to retain the water. The sun and heat tend to evaporate the water, leaving the plant dehydrated.
Creating a blooming garden does not happen overnight, and it takes work to keep a garden in peak condition all season long. By taking a thoughtful approach to the design and selecting the right flowers, it is possible to have a great looking garden with continuous blooms throughout the season. Adding trees and shrubs with attractive berries or fall foliage is another way to extend the flowering season in the garden.
Keep It Healthy
A healthy garden is a garden that can bloom. That’s why you need to make sure that your flowers are getting the proper care, including regular watering and feeding.
Use a slow-release granular or liquid fertilizer to provide constant nutrient supply throughout the growing season and boost blooming. Also be sure to deadhead faded flowers, which will encourage new growth and fresh color.
It’s a good idea to have a schedule of when different plants bloom in your area. Then you can create a bloom sequence that lasts from spring through summer. Many gardeners also intersperse annuals and perennials for color and year-round interest. Shrubs like Indian mallow, California fuchsia and wild lilac can add height to the mix, as well.