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Jubilee Park Monument BedOnce all the snow has melted and the frost has lifted after a long, cold winter, it is very exciting to begin thinking about planting some flowers. However, before sticking the shovel into the ground, it is important to consider that most annual (and perennial) beds need proper preparation and planning before planting. All plants require different and specific amounts of care and attention. Some things to consider before purchasing your plants are:

  1. General Design: Formal or Informal? Curved or linear? What themes or colours will you use? What will your plant spacing be? Having an idea ahead of time will help the plantings make more of an impact and look more cohesive.
  2. Maintenance: How much time are you willing to spend on weeding, watering, fertilizing, and deadheading your plants? There is no such thing as “no maintenance.” However, there are annuals such as Marigolds and Petunias that require less deadheading and are more resistant to pests.
  3. Cost: Most exotic flowers will cost more than locally grown and native plants. Planting flowers closer together will increase purchase costs, but will also reduce weeding and watering. Geraniums
  4. Existing Plant Material: Are there old plants that need to come out prior to planting? Or nearby trees that will shade your flowers and steal water? 
  5. Sun Exposure: Is the site along a building or near trees that will shade it? How many hours of sunlight will it receive? 
  6. Wind Protection: Is the bed fully exposed to wind or is it sheltered by buildings or existing plants?
  7. Soil Type: Clay? Peat? Loam? Having a properly balanced soil will ensure the plants have what they need to survive and grow during dry periods throughout the summer.
  8. Special Fertilizing Requirements: Most annuals require higher amounts of nutrients in order to bloom and grow all season long. Some may even require special fertilizer to get the blooms to change colour, such as some Hydrangeas.
  9. Pests and Diseases: Will pets or wildlife damage or eat the plantings? Will you have to put up a deer fence? Do you know how to monitor for and treat diseases or insects that may attack your plants?

There are many things to consider when preparing your flower, perennial or shrub bed. Taking these points into account will make your plants look beautiful all season long.

Last updated: 2/28/2017 11:53:42 AM