Plant flowers in your garden beds to add color and bring a vibrant splash of color to the landscape. Use flowers of different colors, sizes and textures for a varied blend. Select perennials, flowers that return every year, or annuals that you have to replant every spring, or use a combination of both so the flowerbeds are colorful all year round.
Determine how much sunlight the desired planting site receives. Test the pH level of the soil with a soil testing kit. Perennials require a pH between 6.0 and 6.5, while for annuals it lies between 5.8 and 6.5. Most flowers require well-drained soil. While most annuals prefer four to six hours of sunlight everyday, there are varieties of perennials for full sun, partial sun and full shade. Make sure the planting site is away from large trees or other vegetation that compete with flowers for moisture and nutrients in the soil.
Select flower seeds or seedlings, taking into consideration the soil composition and sunlight requirements of the planting site. Ensure the flowers are adaptable to the climate.
Although some late winter planting varieties of annuals exist, most are planted in spring after the danger of the last frost. Plant perennials in early spring or late fall. Complete fall planting at least six weeks before temperatures fall to or below freezing.
Prepare Planting Site
Remove grass, weeds, plant debris and stones from the planting site. Loosen the soil down to 8 inches with a shovel. Add 2 inches of compost, pine bark humus or leaf mold to amend clay soils or 2 inches of peat moss or pine bark humus to sandy soils. Rake well to ensure the soil amendments go deep down. Also add 1 lb. of 10-10-10 fertilizer per 100 square feet planting area. Rake the area until smooth.
Sow Seedlings or Seeds
Although most annuals and perennials can be grown from seed, home gardeners prefer to start with seedlings that grow sooner. Carefully remove the seedling from the nursery container to determine the size of the rootball and set it aside. Quickly make a hole twice as wide as the rootball but equally deep and lower the seedling into it. Loosen any pot-bound roots with your hands and spread them in the hole before covering them with soil. Make sure the crown, or the point where the top of the seedling and roots join is at soil level and readjust hole size if necessary. Space seedlings 2 to 3 inches apart, and thin growing flowers if necessary to provide ample space to spread. If planting seeds, refer to the detailed information on the packet regarding depth, spacing and timing. Tamp the soil down to remove any air pockets and lightly water the area to ensure the soil is evenly moist.