Your backyard doesn't have to be just a place for kids to play or pets to wander. If you spend a lot of time in your backyard, try sprucing it up with some beautiful plant beds with colorful flowers. The pleasant surroundings will transform the back of your home into an extension of the house and offer you another place to go to relax.
Choose the locations for your flowers. Location of the plant beds is as important as the soil conditions. Some plants prefer full sun while others like partial or full shade. You can either choose plants based on where you decide to create the plant beds or decide where to locate the plant beds based on the plants you want. Also select locations in the backyard that are out of way of where kids and animals play. Make sure you don't plant flowers that are poisonous to domestic animals.
Prepare the plant locations. Loosen dirt with a hoe to bring air into the soil. If the soil is nutrient poor or doesn't drain well, add to it. Mix in organic material, potting soil and sand to improve soil conditions. Make sure that your beds will still allow clear paths in the back yard for people to walk.
Choose locations for plants within the plant beds. Perennials should be placed in permanent locations because these will come back year after year. Spread them out, so that even if you decide not to plant annual plants one year, the spacing of the rest will be even. Plant annuals in between as fillers. If you are using annuals such as impatiens and wax begonias that reseed themselves to grow back year after year, it might be a good idea to plant them in beds of their own with no other flowers. They spread quickly and will soon fill a bed each year.
Make small holes 1 to 2 inches deep depending on the flowers you are growing. Place seeds in the holes and cover with soil. Do not pack the soil down. Water lightly to settle soil and start the germination process. Keep soil damp while the flowers grow. Plant seeds in early spring so that they will have time to grow before summer.
Plant the grown flowers in the beds by digging holes wide and deep enough for them to fit into. Make sure to break up the roots before setting them in the ground. Sometimes plants get root bound in their small containers. For bulb perennials, place them in a hole 4 to 6 inches deep with the pointed side up. Make sure to plant bulbs in the fall before the growing season. They need cold weather to start their growing process. Other perennials and annuals can be planted in the spring and summer depending on their length of seasonal life. Pack the dirt back around the base of the flowers to cover up the roots.
Add mulch around the flower beds to trap moisture so that the flowers don't dry out as quickly. The mulch will also add nutrients to the soil as it breaks down.
Water the flowers until the soil is damp to help perk up the newly planted flowers.