After you choose the location for a flower garden, layout the design and plant the flowers, your efforts shift to maintaining your plants. Strolling through the garden to watch your flowers grow and bloom becomes a daily routine. Caring for the growing flowers will become routine too.
Water the plants every seven to 10 days if there is no rainfall. Water is crucial to keep the flowers hydrated and healthy. To help avoid the onset of moisture-related fungal disease, water the flowers in mid-morning using a soaker hose or drip irrigation that directs water to the ground surrounding the plant, rather than garden sprinklers that fling water on top of the flowers.
Apply a commercial, slow-release granular or liquid fertilizer in the spring and once or twice each month during the growing season, or according to the manufacturer's instructions. Fertilizer can make blooms and plant size more robust.
Pop-off dead blooms. Deadheading, where you gently grasp the stem of a flower in your fist and force the spent bloom off with your thumb, can extend the blooming cycle of the plants. The plant will convert energy into growing more blooms instead of directing energy to create seeds. Collect the removed blooms to keep the flower bed tidy, or leave them on the ground to decompose and add nutrients to the soil.
Apply 2 to 3 inches of mulch, like wood chips or organic matter, around the plants to help hold in moisture and slow weed development. Keep the mulch about 2 inches away from the stems. Organic matter, like compost or leaf mold, also provides nutrients to the plants.
Remove weeds as they appear by pulling them out by hand or by using a hoe. Weeds can rob flowers of nutrients and may grow taller than the flowers, blocking out much-needed sunlight and air circulation. Specially formulated commercial pellets can also be used to ward off weeds. The pellets are sprinkled between the flowers of a weeded garden where they will dissolve when water hits them to provide pre-emergent weed protection.