Flowers are beautiful and if you have some in your garden then some tips on how to care for them might come in handy. The first thing is to ensure that the soil is good. After ensuring that you have good flower soil, the next thing is to decide on what flowers you will gro. Will it be annuals or perennials?
Success is in the soil. Good soil — not too sandy, not too sticky, with enough organic matter to make it drain well and be inviting to plant roots — is essential for successful flower gardening, just as it is for vegetables. After all, vegetables such as squash and tomatoes are formed from flowers. Test the pH and fertility of your soil with Burpee’s Electronic Soil Tester and then visit the soil testing page for suggestions from our experts.
Annuals and perennials. As far as gardens are concerned, these are the two basic kinds of flowering plants. Annuals go through their whole life cycle in one growing season: sprouting from a seed, growing leaves and roots, producing flowers, creating seeds and then dying. They are popular with gardeners because, with reasonable care, they bloom their heads off all season. Perennials are plants whose root systems stay alive underground for several years or even decades. The part above the soil may go dormant and die back in winter, but the plant is still alive and will sprout again in spring. The tradeoff for perennials’ long life is that they bloom for only a few weeks or months each year. Exactly when and how long varies between species.
The best flower plants for a beginner are annuals. They are easy to find and do not require a lot to grow. Some water, some sun, space and fertilizer.
Annuals – easy plants for beginner gardening
The great thing about annuals is that they’re widely available and easy to grow. If you follow the simple basics about light, spacing, water and fertilizer, you’ll have your first success.
Find out how with these beginner gardener tips for growing annuals, and then learn more about other flower garden plants, including easy-care perennials.
Right plant, right place – light levels
Unless you live in a neighborhood dominated by huge shade trees, you will have areas of full sun, and perhaps some spots shaded by buildings (house, garage, shed) or trees.
Remember that most perennial flowers and roses do best in full sun. That means at least six hours of full sun.
With only two to three hours of sunlight, sun-lovers will struggle, but plants that like part shade will do well. Usually, shade and part-shade plants will do best where they don’t get hot afternoon sun.
Here are some plants to grow in lower light situations: astilbe, hosta, cranesbill – as known as hardy perennial geraniums, bleeding heart, foxgloves, columbine and heuchera. More tips for shade gardening are here.
When it comes to providing water to your flowers you should know the timing and the quantity. This could be the difference between healthy flowers and diseased flowers. You should also use fertilizer in moderate amounts.
There’s much to consider about watering your flowers: if, when, how, and how much. Too much water brings on rot, too little makes flowers wither and die. Overhead watering can encourage the spread of disease, and some watering systems deliver more water into the atmosphere than into the soil, where it’s needed. Follow plant tag watering suggestions, and consider updating your irrigation system if you’re tired of moving your oscillating sprinkler around your yard every other day.
If those numbers on the fertilizer packaging have always been a mystery to you, it’s time to get in the know: The standard system represents the available amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, by percent, in that order. The reason the numbers don’t add up to 100% is that the packages also contain filler materials, like sand or limestone. In general nitrogen promotes foliage growth, phosphorus develops root systems, and potassium helps flower formation. Flowering plants need all three nutrients.