Flowers are beautiful to look at and bring joy to those who plant gardens full of them. Flowers come in an abundant array of colors and styles, and bloom at various times of the year. Knowing a few tips about planting flowers can save you a lot of trouble. Fill your surroundings with one of nature's wonders--flowers.
Your Zone and Soil
Selecting the right type of flowers for your specific region will save you a lot of frustration. The United States is divided into 11 different plant hardiness zones. Know your zone, and choose only those specific flowers that are compatible for it. Use the USDA Hardiness Zone Map to pinpoint your location and zone.
Preparing the soil for your flowers is very important. You must have healthy soil and the correct pH level for the types of flowers you desire. Test your soil with a kit, and add organic matter if needed. Loosen the soil and add peat moss, sawdust, sand, rotted manure, ground bark or homemade compost to it. Work this into the soil, and add additional nutrients or fertilizers. Use about 2 lbs. of a 5-10-5 fertilizer for each 100 square feet of soil or 1 lb. of 10-10-10 and rotate it into the soil.
Plants and Planning
Decide which types of flowers you want to grow. Select plants for the specific areas you have to work with. Choose flowers that do not require a lot of sun for shaded sections, and varieties that can tolerate full sun for sunny areas of your landscape. Make an actual plan or layout of your yard by hand, or use an application similar to the one provided by Lowe's, which can help you visualize the results. Use plants of various heights, textures and forms.
Pick annual flowers if you want change the layout of your landscape yearly, or select perennials if you prefer the same varieties each year. Mix these two types throughout your landscape or in specific areas. Select flowers with various bloom times to provide blossoms for longer periods. Mix the different varieties to ensure there are no bare spots during the growing season.
Planting, Watering and Mulch
Most flower planting should be done in the spring on a cool and cloudy day. Early morning, late afternoon or evening are the best times to plant. Purchase the flowers as close to the planting day as possible, if not the same day. Dig a hole in the soil twice the width of the root ball of the flower, but the same height. Dig slightly deeper holes for flowers contained in peat moss pots.
Carefully remove the flowers from the containers, leaving soil around the root. Loosen heavily entwined roots with your hand or use a knife, if needed. Place it in the hole and fill in with soil halfway. Press on the soil around the flower to get rid of any air pockets. Add water, repeat filling in the hole, and water again. Cover the area around the flower with 1 to 3 inches of mulch to prevent weeds and diseases, and to hold the moisture in. Provide enough water for the first year to allow the flower to create a good root system. The necessary amount varies depending on the type of flower, so be certain to understand each flower's requirement ahead of time. Ask about this when you make your purchase or research the different species. Continue to water all of your flowers after this period, as needed, and especially during the growing season.