Outdoor Flower Gardening Tips
Flowers are the epitome of an outdoor garden. They increase the value of your property and beautify your home. Any kind of flower, whether roses or other spring bulbs, look awesome when well-tended. Irrespective of your gardening skills, you can have blooming beautiful flowers in your outdoor garden. However, you need to learn the basics on what flowers need, their growth cycles and which flowers are best for your location.
What Flowers Need
Flowers need a lot of energy to give great beauty. Seeing that most energy comes from the sun, your flowers need to be planted on a full-sun location – a place where sunlight falls between 6 and 8 hours a day. Soil is crucial for the growth of flowers. The soil should neither be too sandy or too sticky. Rather, it should have enough organic matter and drain well. Flowers have the same needs with vegetables in terms of nutrients, watering, soil and sunlight – after all, vegetables such as tomatoes are a result of flowers.
Be sure to test the pH and the fertility of your soil before planting. Different flower species require different pH; while some do well in low pH values (as low as 4.5), other do well in pH 8.0.
Annuals or Perennials?
There are two basic kinds of flowering plants to choose from; annuals and perennials. Annuals go through their entire life cycle within one growing season; they are planted, they germinate, grow leaves, roots, seeds and flowers and finally die. Annuals are more popular with gardeners. Perennials on the other hand are plants whose root systems stay underground for a couple of years, sometime decades, before sprouting. Perennials bloom for a few weeks or months each year. The duration of blooming varies with species.
Both kinds of flowering plants have their use in the garden. Annuals come handy when you want a lot of flowers in the garden all year round. However, they require more watering, more nutrients and generally more care than perennials. Again, planting annuals each year can be tiring. This is forced some farmers to plant spring bulbs and other perennials. Perennials are great in that they require less care and do not require planting each season. Many gardeners combine annuals and perennials.
Both annuals and perennials can be planted both as seeds and as already sprouted plants. Seeds take a few weeks to sprout for annuals and up to a year for perennials. If you want flowers within the next few weeks, plants are your best option. If you choose to plant seeds, you can start them indoors weeks before planting to hasten the sprouting process.
Taking Care of Flowers
Flowers, like vegetables, require regular watering and fertilising. Annuals have the ability to bloom all season but the price to this is that they need more watering, fertilising and sunlight than perennials. Annuals also require deadheading (removing dried flowers to give room for more blooming). Perennials are not completely carefree – they also require watering and fertiliser but less attention compared to annuals. Native perennials need the least maintenance.
In conclusion, it is advisable that when buying plants, read labels, descriptions and catalogues to understand the needs of the flower species. The kind of flower you choose for your garden should be determined by the site you have – sun and soil.