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Planting the perfect flower bed

How to plant the perfect flower bed

We’ve passed the date of last frost, and you’re ready to plant your garden and flowers. Steve Asbell at Zillow has some tips for planting a fabulous flower bed.

Step 1: Prepare.

Before you dig, take a look. How much sunlight does the area get? Did you get rid of rocks and weeds? Do you need to add sand or mulch so water will drain?

Step 2: Handle plants carefully.

When you bring plants home from the nursery or hardware store, pack them tightly in the car so they don’t slide around and get damaged. And make the plant stop your last stop so your new flowers won’t dry out. Water the plants as soon as you get home, if needed, and plant them as soon as possible.

Step 3: Be edgy.

Having a clearly defined edge to your bed will make it look neat and finished. Plastic borders are OK, but bricks, concrete blocks or stone placed in leveling sand will look even better.

Step 4: Consider heights and seasons.

Annuals bloom all season, but must be replaced each year. Perennials bloom year after year for a part of the growing season. A mix of these will keep your flower bed colorful

Remember to plan for height, too: Tall flowers in the back, and shorter ones in front.

Step 5: Give plants their space.

Leave enough space so flowers have room to grow. This is especially important for perennials such as tulips and daffodils, irises and day lilies. They will multiply and become more crowded over the years.

Step 6: Plant them correctly.

Each plant’s hole should be twice as wide as the original pot so roots have enough room to grow. Don’t plant them too deep – the crown (where the plant meets the soil) should be level with the soil in the bed.

Step 7: Finish with mulch.

Once everything is planted, top your flower bed with an inch of mulch. Wood chips, grass clippings and compost work well. The mulch will keep moisture in and weeds out.

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