How to Plant Flowers for your Garden: Annuals vs. Perrenials

So you want to plant some flowers, eh? Where do you start, and how do you accomplish this mission? Here are a few simple steps to get your flower beds looking fresh by planting new flowers:

  1. Pick out where you want to plant your flowers. How much sun does this area get? Full sun? Full shade? Partial sun (6 hours of sun per day)? Partial shade (4 hours of sun per day)? With this knowledge, you can begin to plan your flower beds.
  2. Decide which type of flower or shrubs you want. Do you want to make an investment in your yard, or do you need some seasonal flowers for a special event? Perennial flowers and shrubs will come back each year, and annual flowers only bloom and survive for a season. Now we are getting a little difficult, eh? Different levels of sun, and categories of flowers? Here’s a tip: take a photo of where you would like to plant.
  3. Take a tour of your local greenhouse. Ask an employee about what you should do with your area. Show them the photo of your planting location. If you know your goals: annuals vs. perennials, and the type of sun you are getting in these areas, the employee will know exactly what you need, and will be able to better assist you on your mission. Remember that your success is their success as well.
  4. Arrangement. Not sure what plants will look good together? Grab a cart, and go shopping! Start pulling plants off the shelf and arranging them. You can always put plants back that don’t quite fit. And my opinion? Anything will look better than nothing, so don’t take yourself too seriously, and have some fun! Make your purchase, and bring those babies home!
  5. Water your new flowers. Soak your flowers in their pots you brought them home in. These guys have traveled and lived in theirs small containers, so give them a cheers to their last moments where they grew up. Plants in plastic containers being watered
  6. Prepare your beds by adding some new potting soil. Potting soil that contains slow release food pellets is best. A flower bed before and after with new potting soilIf your beds have enough soil, prepare them by turning over the soil a bit, and spread some slow release food pellets in the dirt. when planting annuals, turn the dirt to a depth of about 12″. For perennials, 18″.
  7. Lay your flowers out on the new soil, so you can space them out and plan where they will be located, and adjust accordingly. Take note from the tag that comes in each flower container, on how far apart they need to be planted from one another.
  8. Dig a hole large enough to fit your new plant. Annuals do not need extremely deep holes, since they won’t be rooted for long. Perennials must be prepared by digging larger holes, ensuring that the dirt around them is soft enough for their roots to grow down. I like to over dig, and fill the hole back up with loose dirt.
  9. Soak the hole using a mixture of water and liquid root fertilizer, or add slow release food pellets into the hole.A swan flower pot with fresh dirt and water flowing into a hole in the dirt
  10. Break up the roots just a bit, combing through them with your fingers enough so the roots can spread out, and not continue to grow in a small ball. A hand combing through a root ball on a potted flower

11. Water your plants at least 2″ of water a week. If you live in a very dry climate, wood chips may be placed around the flowers or shrubs to help retain moisture.

12. Pruning. When your flowers and shrubs start to wilt and die off a bit, prune them by clipping off the dead ends. This way, the roots will focus on feeding the healthy part of the plant, instead of struggling to revive dead or dying sections of the flower.

13. Sit back, and enjoy the flowers of your labor!

With Love, Erika Nora


    • Me too Jenny! After we fix up my parents place, I want to plant perennials in my yard, so I don’t have to plant every year. What plants grow well in your neck of the woods? Hostas do well here.


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