Thursday, June 20, 2013

Planting a Low Cost Simple Flower Garden

Flower gardens are a wonderful diversion, but creating one doesn't  have to be complicated or break the budget. Start with a small space, then allow it to grow with time. It can be as simple as you want it.

You don't need to buy expensive edging or brick. Slowly accumulate rocks, used brick, or create a border using a strait, clean edge.

Recycling wood from an old project creates even more possibilities.

These simple guidelines will help when designing your first garden.
  1. Make a plan. Since there will be somewhat of an investment for you, don't rush into things. If you draw a design plan, and know which type of light will be required to allow your plants to be healthy, you will be more successful. Plan to bring in top soil and compost to build your garden bed. 
  2. Mix height and color. Select and plant tall for the back of your garden bed, and shorter ones in the front. Create a variety of colors. If you want butterflies to come to your garden, plant flowers with red, yellow, orange, pink and purple blossoms. [1] If it's hummingbirds, then they like red. [2]
  3. Check the tag. Even if you've done your homework for flower selection, always check the tag on the plant before you purchase it. It provides information about proper lighting conditions, and how tall the plant will get. Varieties may vary slightly.
  4. Mix perennials and annuals. The perennials are the low cost way to go, but annuals are beautiful too. You may want to plan for a regular space for several perennials, then have a space for a few annuals. If you plan to intermingle them, draw a plan - so you don't uproot them the following year.
  5. Try seeds. Good soil and keeping the seeds moist during germination is the key to getting them to grow. Seeds have their place in the garden, or you can set them apart in a container.
  6. Feed me. Sometimes water alone doesn't cut it. You'll want to plan to feed your flower bed with an all-purpose fertilizer of your choice. There is organic fertilizer for flowers, if you prefer to go that way.
  7. Be creative. Watch for roadside wild flower blooms (where legally permitted); trade small perennial samplings with your friends and neighbors; look for half price plants; allow blooms to fade and reseed themselves; then take clippings of some plants to regrow.[3] The best time to get perennials is at the end of the season in the half price section of your local garden center.
  8. Mulching. This step helps to make your garden low maintenance. Not only does it help retain moisture, but it keeps weeds down. If using pine or cedar mulch is too expensive, then consider leaf mulch. Price around before investing in mulch for your garden bed. A nursery may be able to offer a better deal.
The last tip is most important. If you live in a climate with heat and humidity, plan to garden in the early morning hours. You'll beat the bugs and the heat - plus it provides you with a productive start for your day. If you need more inspiration for a garden design, be sure to check out the Google image file.

"The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever." Isa. 40:8

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