Steps to Planting Flowers

The steps to planting flowers are not difficult, but are often overlooked or minimized in the rush to get plants into the ground. Acting in a hurry can cause gardeners to miss a few important basics that could make a world of difference in the condition and appearance of their plants. With a little planning and foresight, you can save yourself many hassles and lessen the strain on your flowers. They'll thank you for it with healthy blooms and a long life.

Site Selection

Selecting a site is the first step to beginning any gardening project. It is not until you have chosen your space that you can begin to research plants that will fit the conditions of the location. An alternate method is to choose the flowers you would like to grow and select a site that matches as closely as possible the needs of those plants. Some factors can be influenced or changed--like the condition of the soil--while others are more difficult to improve upon--for example, the amount of available sunlight that reaches an area.

Soil

Check the soil. This is where the health and development of your flowers will be made or broken. Before you plant, it is important to know the type of soil with which you're working. Identifying the specific soil type will give you a good indication of how much improvement is needed, whether the area will hold or leach away nutrients, whether water will fail to drain or drain away too quickly. Soil can be improved, encouraged to hold nutrients and moisture, through the addition of organic matter.

Plant Selection

Select plants that fit the conditions of your garden space in order to achieve the best results. A plant's requirements do not have to match exactly what is available, but the further you get from those basic needs, the less likely your plant will perform successfully. A lack of light, nutrients or moisture can have devastating effects, as can an overabundance. These can kill your flowers or cause the blooms to fail, wasting your investment.

Prepare the Area

To begin preparing the area, remove any debris. Spade or till to a depth of 6 to 8 inches to give your seeds or plants the best start. This will allow roots to more easily penetrate the ground and reach needed resources. Add compost or other soil improvements and mix them thoroughly into the bed. Fertilizer can also be added at this stage to help seeds get a good start, or you may choose to wait to feed until live plants have had a period of time to adjust to their new space. Level the soil, and you are ready to start planting.

Keywords: flower bed preparation, planting flowers, choosing flowers

About this Author

Alice Moon is a freelance writer with more than 10 years' experience. She was chosen as a Smithsonian Institute intern, working for the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., and has traveled throughout Asia. Moon holds a Bachelor of Science in political science from Ball State University.