5 Tasks before planting

Have you ever visited your local plant nursery at the beginning of spring when all of their bright and colorful plants are out, and suddenly you have a trunk full of flowers and no idea what happened or where you are going to put them? It’s okay, we’ve all been there. Before the nursery tempts you with their bright beauties ask yourself these 5 questions.

5 questions to ask before planting a flower bed

What is the purpose of this bed?

What do you want out of the flowers in this bed? Do you want flowers you can cut and bring inside for arrangements? Do you want to add some curb appeal to the front of your home? Or is it to simply make you smile when you look at it? All are valid answers, but they will influence which flowers you need.

What is my time availability to care for the bed?

Flower range in their neediness. Ask yourself how much time you want to spend watering, pruning, weeding etc.. A perennial garden with low maintenance plants will require much less time than other growing options. Pick your flowers according to the time you can give them.

What is my budget for this project?

There, I’ve gone and mentioned the “B” word. Now it is out in the open. Realistically, what do you want to spend on the bed? This not only includes the cost of the flowers, but also, fertilizer, mulch, and any necessary tools. You can spread the costs out over a couple seasons if you like. If you plant perennials, you may have a higher starting cost, but they will be around for multiple seasons. If you prefer annuals, your money is only for one season of flowers.

That can add up after a while, but  a bed can be built up over a couple seasons to spread out costs. You can buy anchor plants first and fill in at a later time. Also try asking your gardening friends if they have any flowers they are dividing at the end of the season. Plants like day lilies, iris and hostas can be divided as they mature and can be shared with friends.

How much sun does the bed receive?

When choosing flowers a key piece of information on the tag is the amount of sunlight it requires. Placing a plant in the wrong spot can kill it before its time. I learned this the hard way after frying my hosta plants in the Kansas sun. Pick a day where you can observe the bed at different times to gauge how much sun it received throughout the day. If you are doing this in winter and you have trees in the yard. Be aware that plants may receive less light when the leaves grow back on the trees.

What flowers do I love?

Finally after taking in all your other answers, pick flowers you love that fit those criteria. What are your favorite varieties? What colors do you love? If you need some help identifying what your favorite flowers need, I frequently use http://www.perennialresource.com/encyclopedia/ or http://www.bhg.com/gardening/plant-dictionary/ to help me out.  Combine that with your knowledge from above, and you can now visit the local nursery with confidence to choose flowers that you love and will live happily in your garden.
What lessons have you learned planting flower beds?

Posted by Morgan

Hi, I’m Morgan and welcome to my creative home! I am an event planner by day and a crafter and DIYer by night. I am passionate about making beautiful things and teaching others how they can too. Join me as my husband and I turn our new house into our Beautifully Inspired Home.

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