Easy Step-by-Step Guide to Planting Flowers, Gardening and Mulching for Beginners
Planting flowers can enhance the beauty of your lawn and provide a colorful landscape in your garden. If you are new to planting flowers, it can be a bit overwhelming to know where to begin, what flowers to plant, how often to water flowers, and how to maintain your garden. You don't have to be an expert to plant flowers and embark on gardening.
Where Do I Begin?
With a few simple goals in mind, a little motivation, and a little hard work, planting flowers can be a rewarding experience.
First, select an area of your lawn or yard where you would like to plant flowers. Take a picture of the area (on your cell phone) and bring with you when picking out flowers.
Next, visit your favorite gardening center and purchase some flowers, keeping size, color and how much sun the flowers need. Try to select colors that will compliment your home. Ask the gardening experts lots of questions while you there, especially if your not sure about which plants to purchase for the different areas of your garden around your house. In addition, you will need to estimate how many plants to purchase based on the size of the area where you will be planting.
What Kind of Gardening Tools Do I Need?
In addition to purchasing flowers to plant, you'll need to purchase the following supplies:
- Gloves (I would recommend a sturdy pair of mud gloves, rather than cloth gardening gloves, which are sturdy for planting and easy to wash)
- Top soil
- Gardening shovel
- Gardening rake
- Gardening fork (especially for weeding)
- Watering can
Optional but recommended if you are weeding or would like to prevent weeds:
- Weeding bucket (to collect weeds and debris)
- Tarp and pins
- pruning shears
- Bags of mulch, in color and type of your choice (# of bags depends on size of area you are covering; I usually buy 8-10 bags to cover areas around front of house)
Weeding and Preparing the Ground/Soil
After purchasing your flowers and supplies, get excited and ready to do some planting! First, you need to do a little preparation. Is the area you want to plant flowers full of weeds or old mulch? If so, first, clear the area where you will be planting of any weeds, and rake the area a bit to remove any old mulch and debris.
If necessary, line up your flower plants along side where you are planning on planting them, so you can get an idea of how far apart to plant each one.
Laying Tarp Down to Prevent Weeds
If the area you will be planting in, tends to be a high weed area, consider putting tarp down to try to prevent weeds. Although this will not prevent all weeds, it will help to block weeds around your plants.
If you're not laying tarp down, you can skip to the next step to start planting.
If laying tarp down, first, unroll and cut pieces of tarp (rolls of tarp can be purchased from your gardening store).
Adhere the tarp to the ground by placing tarp pins along the corners of the tarp. Then, cut openings in the tarp (a little wider than the width of the plant), for each location where you planning on planting a flower plant. See photograph below:
Next, for each dig a hole slightly wider and deeper than the plant.
Loosen the plant and then remove it from the container you purchased it in, then place it in the hole, making sure that the base of the plant is level with the surrounding soil.
Add top soil as needed and pack down the soil around the plant.
Repeat for each plant.
When you are finishing planting all your flowers, remove any excess soil from on top of the tarp to prevent weed growth.
Next, add 1 to 2 inches of mulch around your plants.
Finally, water all your flowers thoroughly.
Here are some pictures of how the flowers looked after mulching:
Continue watering your plants daily, or according to instructions based on the type of plant you purchased.
Suggested Annuals for Planting
Here are some suggestions for colorful annuals to plant:
- begonias (light: sun/part sun/shade)
- petunias (light: sun/part sun)
- pansies (light: sun/part sun)
- african marigold (light: sun)
- impatiens (light: shade)
Good Resources With Alphabetical List of Annuals and Perennials
I found an excellent resource for descriptions of annual and perennials on the Best Homes and Gardens website.
Here's the website for the alphabetic listing of annuals with pictures:
Easy-to-follow video on planting flowers:
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© 2012 Amelia Griggs
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