How to Create Flower Beds on a Budget

Rose in a garden image by karineggin/


Hiring a professional landscaper to come and create a flower bed for a home or business can be expensive. You will be paying for not only their labor and materials but also for their expertise. Creating your own flower bed can easily be done on a budget. All that is needed is the willingness to learn what types of plants and other gardening supplies you will need to get the job done.

Step 1

Choose an area where you would like to put your flower bed. Consider how much shade and sunlight the area receives throughout the day. Areas with more than six hours of sunlight are considered sunny, and areas with six hours or more of no light or minimal light are considered to be shade areas.

Step 2

Determine what climate zone you are in. Use the USDA hardiness zone finder to find plants that will flourish in your flower garden. Generally, plants that are purchased at nearby greenhouses or road stands are zone-friendly plants.

Step 3

Start some plants from seed in the winter or early spring to save money. You can also delay purchasing plants until mid- to late summer, when plants are on sale. The best time to buy perennials is late summer and late fall. Attend flower swaps to save money and learn more about how the plant will flourish from other gardeners. Ask neighbors for cuttings of their perennials.

Step 4

Use the string to create an outline or design for your garden, such as a kidney, triangle or oval. Carefully use a rototiller to break up the soil. Add a layer of top soil into the till. Rake the area so the soil is blended, fine and workable. Add a weed blocker to the top of the soil. (Weed blockers can be bought a year in advance on clearance.) Newspaper also works well.

Step 5

Set all of the plants on top of the weed blocker. Cut a small hole in the weed blocker and add the plants. Scatter perennials because they will likely only bloom part of the season and they will multiply. Fill in the gaps with colorful annuals, which typically cost less than perennials.

Step 6

Add a final layer of topsoil to support the plants and fill in the gaps. Water thoroughly. Add border trim if desired. This could be plastic edging or it could be recycled materials such as large stones or bricks. Add a thick layer of mulch around each plant.

Tips and Warnings

  • Wear protective gear when operating the rototiller. This includes jeans, glasses or protective goggles and boots.

Things You'll Need

  • Annuals and perennials that grow in your climate zone
  • Rototiller
  • More than 100 feet of string
  • Scissors
  • Topsoil
  • Rake
  • Landscaping weed blocker or newspaper
  • Garden hose
  • Trim (optional)
  • Mulch (optional)


  • USDA Hardiness Zone Finder
  • Types of Annuals
  • Perennial Information

Who Can Help

  • National Gardening Association
Keywords: create flower beds on a budget, flower beds, flower swap, plant seeds

About this Author

Julie Boehlke is a seasoned copywriter and content creator based in the Great Lakes state. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. Boehlke has more than 10 years of professional writing experience on topics such as health and wellness, green living, gardening, genealogy, finances, relationships, world travel, golf, outdoors and interior decorating. She has also worked in geriatrics and hospice care.

Photo by: karineggin/