While it is still cold and snowy in many areas of the country, spring is just around the corner. And while April showers may bring May flowers, great gardens do not happen without some elbow grease, as well as judicious planning. Here are some planting tips to make your garden the best it can be in 2014:
Cold winter nights are a great time to plan ahead for your spring garden. Peruse bulb catalogs and do your research to see which flowers will work best in your yard for your space, your soil, your climate, and the sunlight available. Spending a little time doing research on the best flowers for your yard will save you a lot of heartache down the road ahead. In some cases, you may need to plant the bulbs in the fall, to ensure spring flower growth.
In addition to picking the best flowers for your yard, you can also plan out where you want to plant the flower bulbs to grow – you also may want to have flowers that will bloom at different times throughout the year, so that you have flowers throughout the spring and summer, as opposed to having them all bloom at the same time.
Decide on annuals or perennials
When it comes to planting spring flowers, you may want to have a mix between annuals and perennial flowers. While you have to replant annuals every year, they may bloom longer than perennials do. However, the annuals may also require more maintenance than perennials. One drawback to perennials is that they may take a while to bloom. Many gardeners plant a mix of both annuals and perennials, to get the best of all worlds there.
Test the pH level of the soil
You want to make sure that the soil for your garden has the correct pH level for growing flowers, so run tests on it at various areas of the flower bed. If your pH level is not up to snuff, you can talk to your Lawn Doctor professional about what you can do to adjust the pH level.
Prepare the flower bed
As soon as the ground is warm enough to let you work on it, remove any debris or weeds to get the flower bed ready. Then put compost on the flower bed to get the flower red ready for planting.
Choose on seeds/bulbs or plants
You may want to plant flower bulbs or seeds, but they do take longer to get going than planting the flower plants themselves. What you decide to do is up to you, but if you do plant the flowers, make sure you do not plant the flowers that are already blooming, or they will have a very short shelf life in your garden.
When planting bulbs, follow these tips
Make sure that you dig a hole for the flower bulbs that is deep enough for them – generally speaking, it should be three times the bulb’s diameter. Otherwise, the bulb will not have enough room to grow. You may want to put some bone meal at the bottom of the bulb, to ensure healthy growth. Also, if your area could be affected by rodents, putting red pepper by the holes may help keep rodents away. Then replace the soil on top of the bulbs, and water them afterward. The soil may also need fertilizer.
If you have any questions about planting your spring garden, please contact your Lawn Doctor professional to learn more. Good luck.