How to Start a Flower Garden

Flowers are a simple way to beautify and personalize one's living environment with color and fragrant scents. One of the best ways to enjoy flowers is to start a flower garden. Flower gardens are often found in one's yard, but for people with minimal space an indoor garden of potted flowers is also an option. Once a person decides to start the project, he or she will need to learn how to start a flower garden. There are many ways to learn about flower gardening, such as conducting an Internet search, visiting one's local nursery to speak with a floral expert, or talking with neighbors and friends for useful flower gardening tips.

To start flower gardening, one of the first things that a person will want to do is determine the location. If a person lives in a home with a yard, an outdoor garden is a likely choice. When choosing a location consider the amount of sun that the area receives. This is important because the sun will play a role in the type of flowers that a person can plant. A majority of flowers require at minimum six hours of sunlight. This is considered full sunlight. Other types of flowers may do well in partial or even full shade conditions. The condition of the soil is also of importance. Any potential location should have well-drained soil; however, if the soil in one's yard is poorly drained it may be improved by creating a raised bed of soil. Testing the soil is one of the smartest flower gardening tips that one can follow. This will let the gardener know what the pH of the soil is and if it is lacking in potassium or phosphorous. The results of the test will advise the gardener as to how much lime is necessary in order to elevate the pH to the required level of 6.0 to 6.5. The results will also advise the gardener on how much potassium and phosphorous is needed, if any.

When choosing the type of flowers to plant in the flower garden, look for a selection that adds visual variety in terms of color and height. One should also select a combination of flowers that bloom at various times throughout the year so that the garden will always have colorful blooms. The local nursery is one's best bet at choosing the right type of flowers. Not only will they advise gardeners on what type of flowers to use for the amount of sunlight, but they can also help select the right type of perennials and annuals to create the most attractive year-round garden. If a person is planting potted flowers indoors, the nursery is also able to help him or her select the best type of plant for growing indoors. Starting from seed is also one of the helpful flower gardening tips to consider. While it is faster to buy ready-to-plant flowers from the nursery, a packet of seeds is typically less expensive. Another benefit of using seeds is the variety, which is often greater than what is available at one's local nursery. When starting from seed it is important to know whether it must be started indoors or directly in the garden, the rate of seedling growth, and how many days it takes to bloom. A person will need the appropriate containers to start the seeds; ideally they will be two-inches deep at minimum and have holes for draining. A porous growing mix is also ideal when first planting seeds. Seedlings can be transplanted into a growing mix that contains twenty percent compost medium or soil from the garden.

In addition to learning how to start a flower garden, a person will also need to know how to maintain it. A large part of care involves watering the flowers properly. A flower garden requires one-inch of water a week. Rain provides for some of this, but if it hasn't rained for a while then the plants will need to be watered one to two times weekly. The garden should be watered during the earlier part of the day, while it is still cool. Watering later in the day when temperatures are high and the sun is at its highest can cause water to evaporate too quickly and should be avoided. In addition, water at night should also be avoided as it promotes disease. An eco-friendly way to water one's plants is to use a drip system which applies water directly on the roots. Adding a layer of mulch to the garden assists in the care of the plant by insulating the roots and reducing the number of weeds and by helping with water conservation. Removing any weeds and cutting back perennials will also keep the garden looking attractive and encourage plant growth.

Planning and Preparing the Garden Area

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