How To Prepare A Flower Bed For Growing Outstanding Plants –

How To Prepare A Flower Bed For Growing Outstanding Plants –

Introduction: How to Prepare and Plant a Flower Bed

By JoyUsGarden

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I love both flowering plants and cut flowers – seeing them in the garden or in a vase in the house makes my little heart patter in a very good way.

This is how I prepare & plant a flower bed in the spring to ensure a non-stop riot of color all summer long.

Below, I layout the steps I take to preparing and planting a bed. And, be sure to check out the video How To Prepare And Plant A Flower Bed.

Video

Step 3 – Choose Your Plants

Choosing plants is the fun part of creating a flower bed. Be sure to think about sunlight and soil type when deciding what to plant. Also consider whether a perennial or annual should be planted. Perennials will come back year after year, whereas annuals die back at the end of a season and do not return the next year. You don’t always have to grow difficult-to-maintain plants to have a beautiful garden. There are many hardy low-maintenance plants that are great if an easy yard is the goal. Some of the easier plants to grow include:

  • Cosmos
  • Marigolds
  • Pansies
  • Sunflowers
  • Sweet peas
  • Zinnias

Increase your chances of success by using the companion planting method. Companion planting is the idea that certain plants will help one another when planted in close proximity. For example, marigolds will help nearly any nearby growing vegetables, particularly tomatoes. And Zinnias attract ladybugs, which are well-known to help control cabbage flies.

Building a New Flower Bed Step by Step

1. Add New Soil

Prior to planting your DIY flower bed, it’s important to lay a good foundation for the flowers to grow. If you visit a local garden supply store, a landscape expert may be able to recommend what kind of soil is right for your garden.

Lay down a layer of garden-specific soil about 6 inches deep and spread it across the bed, working it in with the compost you added earlier to help boost the nutrition and quality of the new soil. Once finished, give your bed 30 to 60 days to settle before planting.

Work with soil when it’s damp, but not wet. Digging soil that is too dry is difficult and can be harmful to the dirt, and soil that is too wet will clump when turned over.

2. Plant and Mulch the Flower Bed

Armed with our garden design tips from above, you can confidently bring your DIY flower bed sketch to life.

When arranging and planting your groups of flowers, consider how they’ll look from all angles around your home. This may include arranging them from shortest to tallest or putting color groups together. This is the step where you can really show off your landscape style and boost curb appeal.

If you’re replanting potted perennials, make sure to place them at the same soil depth they were at before. New plants should be placed at the same soil depth they had in their nursery containers. Any damaged roots or leaves should be trimmed before planting.

After planting, remember to water your plants until there are small puddles around their bases. Spread a thin layer of mulch throughout your flower bed to help retain soil moisture and prevent weed growth. However, mulch should never touch the plant stems, as it can kill them.

“I like using the stuff labeled ‘garden compost’ at our local yard products center. It’s black (instead of orange like bark dust), and feeds the soil as it breaks down, providing all the nutrition these shrubs will need.”

Jami Boys | An Oregon Cottage

3. Clean Up the Yard

As you wrap up your DIY flower bed project, determine how much yard waste you’ll be disposing of. The disposal solution you would need varies based on how large the job is, whether you’re redesigning a flower bed and removing dirt or removing multiple trees and shrubs from a big yard.

For a small seasonal refresh and weed removal, you can likely bag up the debris and use your city’s curbside service. If you’ve done a landscaping overhaul after clearing your overgrown flower beds, you may consider renting a dumpster to remove your yard waste. This allows you to clean up at your own pace, while getting rid of all your yard debris at once when the project is complete.

Add Compost  

Compost is a crucial ingredient for soil health. It’s healthy for your plants, as provides nutrients and lightens heavy clay soils but holds moisture better than sandy soils. You can develop your own organic compost from discarded fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, and eggshells, or visit your local home and garden center, where you’ll find a variety of compost options. Add a little compost to each planting hole and mix it with some of the soil you dug up to aid healthy plant growth. Then top-dress the entire planting bed with a couple of inches of compost. 

More Gardening DIYs Youll Love

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Don’t forget to pin this post for later!
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Materials for no dig flower bed

  • Rolled cardboard, recycled cardboard or lots of newspaper
  • hose with nozzle
  • tape measure (to measure your space and calculate mulch and compost amounts)
  • spade shovel
  • garden gloves
  • compost
  • mulch

Not such a bad list of materials, right? Notice I didn’t include landscaping fabric. This method is way better than using that crap anyway. But… mostly I didn’t include it because you CAN’T use it for this method. The fabrics don’t allow for organic matter decomposition into the soil. And, that’s how we make a great, nutrient rich garden bed.

So, if you’re currently using landscaping fabric… your soil is probably in rough shape underneath it. And most weed seeds drop from above via birds and the wind so you’ll still have weeds. Try this awesome method instead.

mulch faqs

Q. What is the purpose of using mulch in the garden? Q. What makes good mulch? Q. What do you use for mulch in your.. Read More

Getting Down to the Root of the Weed Problem  

Time to get a bit dirty! Tackling weeds has a bad reputation, but it’s not a big deal. Keep in mind that you’ll never get rid of all weeds. Like washing your car, weeding just has to be done. The good news is you have some options to choose from. 

Related Topic: How to Kill Weeds in Flower Beds 

It’s fine to pull young weeds by hand if you get the root. If you don’t get the root, the weed will grow back. This method is not the best choice for large areas, and the weeds you didn’t kill can regrow and spread quickly. To minimize future weed problems, you must kill or remove the root of the weed. Therefore, it’s best to weed your beds after a good rainfall. The soil will be moist, which will allow the roots to release from the soil easier—leaving behind fewer roots to regrow later. 

Another method is to use a tool, such as a shovel or a trowel or “weed popper.” You can dig precisely and get the whole root, especially early in the season before the weeds really take root. With a bit of practice, you’ll find you are getting quite skilled at removing weeds this way. 

A more common approach, and generally easier than manual labor, is spraying weeds. You can use a variety of herbicides, either selective or nonselective. Nonselective herbicides are designed to kill just about any plant it comes in contact with, while selective herbicides may kill only broad-leafed plants. Remember to spray on a calm day—minimal or no wind—and use a piece of cardboard as a barrier in front of plants you don’t want to be sprayed. 

How to Clear an Overgrown Flower Bed

1. Pull Out the Weeds

To prepare your flower bed for new plants, you must clear and deeply cultivate the existing planted areas. To get control over short weeds, use a garden trowel – a shovel with a flat, pointed blade – to dig up the roots of the weed. Taller weeds can usually be pulled out by hand, and a trowel can help you free the roots from the ground. Make sure to clear out any leaves left behind, as they can further spread weed growth.

2. Clean Out Existing Plants

2. Clean Out Existing Plants

Once you’ve cleared out the weeds, roots and other debris, clean out old perennials. If you’re starting fresh in your new DIY flower bed, you can give the perennials away or dispose of them. If you’re not ready to say goodbye to your perennials, but it appears they’ve outgrown their space, dividing and replanting the sections in a new location will help them rejuvenate. You can save perennials to replant by dividing and potting them.

Follow up by using a weed killer on the newly cleared out soil. When you’re redoing your flower beds in the springtime, applying an herbicide after you’ve pulled weeds will set your garden up for success the rest of the year. Use caution when choosing a weed killer if you are planning to reseed your lawn, as it could interfere with grass growth in the surrounding area.

3. Prep the Ground

Once weeds and old plants have been cleaned out of the bed, rake through the soil to prepare your flower bed for composting. Soil should be smooth for the next steps, so it’s important to remove any rocks or gravel. If there are a lot of rocks in your soil, you may need a rototiller to remove them all. Learn more about how to remove rocks from soil and the tools you’ll need to do it.

4. Add a Layer of Compost

To enrich the soil and see more fruitful plant growth, lay a 2 to 3-inch layer of compost on the flower bed and turn into the soil with a shovel. Adding organic matter, such as compost, leaf mold, peat or manure, provides the soil with essential nutrients for your plants. Make sure you’re working with moist soil and turning over from about a foot deep.

For the truly sustainable gardener, learn how you can build your own homemade compost bin.

5. Remove Yard Waste to Start Fresh With Your New Flower Bed

When you’ve finished clearing your overgrown flower bed, you’ve likely accumulated a lot of yard waste from the weeds and plants you’ve torn out, as well as from excess soil and compost. You should haul all your landscape debris away from the newly cleared area in a wheelbarrow prior to building a new flower bed.

From a seasonal refresh to a complete garden overhaul, we’ll help you find the right yard waste disposal option for landscaping projects of all sizes.

Step 7: Watering

Step 7: Watering

Be sure to water the plants well after planting them.

The growing begins & a colorful masterpiece will evolve.

Flower beds require a little extra prep and care but it’s well worth it. Who doesn’t want to add a little color to their summer world?

If you are a plant love, c’mon over to Joy Us garden where I share all things garden.

Nell Foster

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