Plant a Flower Garden

Edited by Sobi, Dougie, Grimm, Anonymous and 2 others

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Flower gardens change and evolve with the years, often only limited by space and budget. Depending on your preferences, you can grow low maintenance flowers that require little water or worry for sunlight, or you can grow a higher maintenance garden that will require careful attention to watering, and a specific amount of sunlight.

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The possibilities are endless, but if you are a beginner gardener, starting out small is sometimes easiest. In fact, many gardens start in small areas and grow over time.

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Considerations for Planning Your Flower Garden

There is more to think about than the flowers you'll be planting.

In addition to the type of plants you want, you'll also need to consider the spot you'll be planting them in. It should flow nicely with the surrounding areas, and not obstruct foot traffic. For example, if you put your garden in the yard, make sure you can mow around it. If you put it against a fence or in a corner, be sure you can access in and around the plants to weed.

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Some nurseries will also offer plant kits to help you get started. These kits may give you garden size recommendations and a spacing pattern that shows where to plant which plant, along with the plants you need. They usually have pictures so you can see what the finished garden will look like. Prices can range from $35.00 and up. You can also order plans online, or find them in magazines and books.

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Just remember that the three most important factors for a successful flower garden are your soil, your growing zone, and the amount of light available.

  1. 1
    Soil Considerations:
    Do you know what kind of soil you have? Do you know if it is in need of nutrients? Many universities and state Agricultural offices will test your soil for you, and often it is free (Always call to verify). Some plants require acidic soil, while others require sandy soil. Knowing your soil type and any adjustments it may need will help to ensure that your plants thrive. If your soil requires nutrients, you will want to correct this before you begin planting. You also need to know if the soil stays wet or boggy, or if it dries out completely. Some plants like wet feet, where others will rot in wet soil.

    Many universities, like Cornell University, have Master Gardener programs. They are usually more than happy to share their information about plants, soil and what grows in your area. Some Master Gardeners offer free classes, while others may charge a small fee, usually to cover printing costs and room rentals for teaching. Also talk to your local plant nurseries and see what books your local library may have.
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  2. 2
    Growing Zone Considerations:
    It is important to know what growing zone you are in. Plants not suited to your growing zone will not thrive, and may not survive long cold winters or blisteringly hot summers. Your local nurseries will be able to tell you what zone you are in. They usually stock plants that grow in your area. Different plants will grow better in some areas, and you can always check the USDA website for a complete list of plant hardiness zones.
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  3. 3
    Light Considerations:
    Some plants thrive in total shade, where others require at least six hours of sunlight per day. When considering where your flower beds will be, make note if they will it be in direct sun (at least 6 hours of sun), partial sun, full or partial shade. These considerations will help you better understand which plants will thrive, and which may not do so well.
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How to Plan your Flower Garden Space

The area you'll grow in is an important consideration.

Some plants will grow large, while others may stay small. Likewise, your carefully planned out area might grow a little wild, depending on what you're planting. You'll need to keep these and other factors listed below in mind as you plan out your garden space.

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  1. 1
    Choose Your Plants:
    When you buy plants at the nursery, they may be small plants or full-grown. They should have a tag on them letting you know how much sun they require, how much watering, how far apart to plant them from other plants, how deep to plant them and the height and width at maturity. Try to visualize what your plants will look like next to each other when full grown. For example, a large lily plant that has white blooms can be surrounded with alternating rows of purple and yellow tulips. You can then intermingle a ground cover of white bellflowers among the tulips. White bellflowers are a low growing plant with profuse white flowers that spreads about 18 inches from center of plant.
    RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2014.jpg
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  2. 2
    Sketch Your Flowerbed:
    Many experts recommend sketching the layout you wish to achieve. It is only a rough draft of your vision, and does not need to be a detailed sketch. Just make sure to include the length and width of your garden area. For example, if it's 3 feet long by 2 feet wide, you can figure out how many plants you will need for the area, and whether you want tall or short plants. This will give you a plan of where you will put your plants, and a rough idea of what the garden will look like. You can use graph paper to do this, or make your own with plain paper and a ruler. Generally it's easiest to have one square inch on your paper equal one square foot in your garden. With your sketches and your chosen plants, you can then move your plants around on the paper to get an idea of how the design will look when planted. Working it out on paper is easier and cost effective before buying plants. You can find additional information on the University of Arizona's College of Agriculture site, on their Master Gardener's page.
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  3. 3
    Marking the Garden Spot:
    After you've decided where to plant your flower garden, and the shape and size of it, mark off the area with garden spray paint, or use an old hose or rope to outline the area. Keep in mind that it is easier to mow around curved lines than to try and navigate sharp corners with a mower.
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  4. 4
    Make Sure to Test Your Soil:
    Have your soil tested, so that you know if you need to improve it by adding nutrients and minerals, or adjust pH levels. Since every area is different, it is best to follow soil preparation recommendations from local experts. Talk to several different experts to get a good idea, as each has their own opinion on what works best.
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  5. 5
    Prepare Your Soil:
    Remove all grass, weeds, roots and rocks before starting. Then, plan to mix in about 4-6 inches of compost. You can also use seasoned manure, but remember to never use fresh manure when preparing soil for planting. These additions will improve the health of the soil and aid in drainage. To mix them in, you can use a shovel, garden fork, or a rototiller. Just make sure you dig or till about 10 to 12 inches deep.
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What to Plant in your Flower Beds

What you want to grow is as important as where you'll be growing it.

Perennial plants come back every year, while annuals usually only live for one or two growing seasons. Because of this, annuals are typically replaced yearly.

Some examples of perennials are:

  • Bulbs, Like Iris, Tulips, and Lilies: These fill out and become more beautiful as they age.
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  • Coneflower: The Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), has purple petals and a dark orange center. They can grow to around 4 feet tall and attract bees and butterflies. This is a hardy plant, heat, cold and drought tolerant.
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  • Ornamental Grasses: There are over 100 different varieties of ornamental grasses. Their size ranges from about 6 inches to over 8 feet tall and some are clumping and others are invasive. They can add stunning color and visual effects in all seasons.
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  • Roses: Roses are usually shrubs, they can be made to grow like a tree, and there are climbing roses. They have tiny rose bushes that fit well into little pots and roses that after many years have thick woody trunks. The flowers, depending of the variety, may have a sparse amount of petals or be full and large like the Old fashioned Cabbage Roses. Not all roses have scents, be sure to check if the variety you choose has what you are looking for.
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A few examples of annuals are:

  • Black Eyed Susan: This plant is technically a bi-annual, a mound of leaves the first year and flowers the second year before dying, they will re-seed themselves and grow new plants. Black Eyed Susan size varies from about a foot to over six feet tall. The flowers are yellow with a dark brown center and the leaves have a scratchy hair all over them. Like other flowers, you can deadhead the dying flowers to encourage new flowers throughout the growing season. The flowers attract bees, butterflies and birds eat the flower seeds. These flowers will self seed if you do not remove them from your garden.
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  • Cosmos: Cosmos come in a variety of colors. These plants grow between 18 inches and 5 feet tall. Sometimes staking is required to keep them from falling over. They are self seeding. These flowers attract bees, butterflies and birds.
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  • Geraniums: There are numerous varieties of Geraniums which are annual, biennial, and perennial plants and they can grow 6 inches to 4 feet tall. These are generally easy to grow plants.
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  • Petunias: There are hundreds of varieties of petunias and here are a few categories;
    • Grandiflora Petunia: This is the most common type, you see in many gardens, they have large flowers. These plants mound to just over a foot tall and show their beauty cascading over the sides of a hanging pot
    • Multiflora Petunias: This petunia is a miniature plant that also produces an abundance of flowers.
    • Groundcover: As the name states, this variety is a ground cover and spreads over a large area. This petunia is only about six inches tall and is a fast grower. The blooms may be so profuse that you rarely see any leaves peaking through.
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  • Zinnias: These plants are easy to grow and produce an abundance of flowers that are similar to the daisy. They can grow to about three feet tall. Deadheading prolongs the blooming production.
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Additional Tips and Ideas for Great Flower Gardens

Make sure you to remember these important considerations, and your garden will grow into something wonderful.

  • Plants and Light: It is important that plants get the correct amount of light. Too little or too much can affect their growth and cause them to die.
  • Soil Needs: Healthy soil allows plants to grow healthy. Feed your garden compost once or twice a year.
  • Start your own Compost Pile: Composting is a great way to use your table scraps (no meats, fish or dairy). Learning the correct mixture is important for a successful compost pile. A mixture of brown and green plants and a little water is a great start. You can also add shredded newspaper, wood chips, sawdust, dry leaves mixed with grass clippings, and table scraps. For best results, add a bag of manure too, and turn the pile every so often. In six months to a year you will have earthworms crawling around a rich compost pile.
  • Save your Fireplace Ash: Wood ash adds nitrogen to the soil. Slugs and snails don't like to slither on it, which will keep them away.
  • Remember to Water: Water is essential for life. Too little or too much can be harmful. Group plants together that like the same amount of watering.
  • Egg Shells: Save your eggshells. When you have several, they can be blended in to a rough powder that you can sprinkle over your garden area. This will add calcium to the soil.
  • Epsom Salt: Sprinkling a small amount of Epsom Salt around your plants will add needed magnesium and sulfate nutrients.
  • Citrus Peels: Save all of your citrus peels. Dice them up while they are still fresh, and then dry them. After this you can sprinkle them in your garden. This will help to keep animals from messing in your garden beds. Cats, opossums, raccoons and skunks don't like the citrus scent.

Questions and Answers

Can you please tell me how is it effective in business? or in what way it is effective when you sell flowers?

We have a project in school and I chose planting and our adviser told us to relate it in business. I have tried: I never experienced in selling a flower but I love to do planting in our home.. I think it was caused by: Maybe I just need to experience it.

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You will have to enter several flower shops and perform a small market research in the area where you plan to open your business with flowers. Ask the florists in each shop about the flowers that are most bought (you can ask for top three, for example). Collect these data to plan your garden for the named flower types. The more popular the flower, the more territory should be given to it. Then, you have to buy flower seeds. Include the named flowers but also buy some flowers that might be recommended in the shop that sells seeds. You never know whether people would buy unknown flowers, but you never know if people are so satiated with the most popular flowers that they will buy some new flowers as well.

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The income from the sales divided by the expense for buying the seeds, growing the plants, and upkeeping your garden is the effectiveness. If you follow the strategy above, you may be very effective in your business.

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Categories : Gardening

Recent edits by: Eng, Anonymous, Grimm

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