Soil preparation

How to Prepare Soil before Planting Flowers

March 23, 2022 0

Stable and healthy roots are the foremost factor that warrants the well-being of a plant because of the crucial functions it carries out, for example, water and nutrient absorption and holding the plant to the ground. For the roots to execute these functions, the soil must be well prepared and all necessary action to enrich it taken. So, planting your flowers should not be just plopping them in any type of soil. It needs to be pampered with all the care or else no plant will survive in it. Preparing is a step by step process and quiet laboring sometimes but it sure pays off when the flowers do really well.

Before preparing the soil, you will need to equip yourself with the right information on how to test contents in the soil, the nature of the soil and how well you can maintain and manage it before and after planting your flowers to keep them in good shape. Random dirt may not contain the nutrients and required characteristics for the flowers to grow in and that is why it needs to be examined and adjusted where necessary. Some of the basic exercises you need to carry out include the following;

Determining the Soil pH

To test soil pH, you can either hire a professional to do it for you or you can do it yourself using simple soil test kits that you can get from the nearest source. Ensure that you select flowers that are compatible with the pH of your soil and if they are not, it is important to adjust the pH levels to suit them or, you can go for the flowers that can survive in that soil. Altering with the pH will demand some keen considerations:

- When the soil is acidic, lime is added to neutralize it. Pouring the lime randomly might result to overuse, making the soil harmful or might end up using less than what is required, which ends up not completely doing away with the acidity so make sure you follow the given instructions on usage. The amount of lime you will use will be determined by the acid levels in the soil and the size of your piece of land.

- When the soil has high alkalinity levels, it is neutralized by:

+ Organic fertilizers like sulfur or pine needles and barks etc.

+ Other inorganic fertilizers that contain nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (N-P-K fertilizers).

+ Compost, that has multiple functions i.e. fertilizing and adding nutrients to the soil.

If you don’t plan on planting immediately, mulching the piece of land will help protect the soil from extreme weather conditions, hold weeds in check and using organic mulch keeps the soil rich.

Note: Annual frequent checkups will be necessary if the soil pH levels are okay and therefore, there will be no need of making any immediate adjustments to it.

Carrying out a Soil TestCarrying out a Soil Test

The importance of a soil test is to know the type of soil you are dealing with and how productive it is. Acquire or procure a soil test kit, and follow the guide given for perfect results. Only use what is necessary and avoid adding an excess of anything to the soil to avoid weakening or making the soil toxic.

Examine the Soil Texture

Determining the texture of the soil helps to know how clayey, sandy or even loamy the soil is. This helps to know how quickly or slowly the soil will drain water and predict the nutrient level in the soil. Soils with relatively high sand volumes tend to be well aerated. On the other hand, since they lack ample nutrients and drain water very fast, they need frequent watering and lots of fertilizing to supply nutrients and moisture.

Clayey soils are highly fertile, contain enough nutrients and retain water for longer periods than sandy soils. They, therefore, don’t need frequent watering or fertilizing.

Soils with equal or almost equal amounts of both the clay and the sand have a very good drainage system and enough nutrients.

Testing the Soil DrainageTesting the Soil Drainage

Carrying out a soil drainage test will help you know how frequent watering will be needed and if you will need to make adjustments to the draining system in case it is poor. To test the drainage, carry out a simple test by digging up a hole, filling it with water then wait to see how long the water takes to drain in the soil. 12 to 30 minutes means that the soil has an ideal drainage, below 12 minutes means that the soil is likely to dry quickly and above 30 minutes means that the soil is soggy.

Bed Preparation

After learning about the soil and making all necessary amendments to it, you need to prepare a bed. The bed can be a raised bed that should be at least 6 inches high to allow for proper penetration of roots or a double-dig bed - usually tilled twice - for flowers with deep roots like roses. The size of the bed should be determined by the number of flowers you wish to plant. Attach strings to pegs or use a hosepipe to measure and mark boundaries and to ensure straight or curved edges.

To prepare the bed, you will need to:

- Dig the marked place to remove sod and stones if it is a new bed, but if it was planted before and there is no sod or stones, no digging will be required. Optionally, place no less than three layers of newspapers, proceed to cover them with 3-inch compost and wait for at least 3 weeks for them to decay and for the area to be ready for planting.

- The next step will be tilling the bed(s). This aims at smoothing out the soil by loosening huge impenetrable lumps. Moist soil is the best to work with, so always avoid working with soil that is either wet or dry. Doing it more than once will rather tighten the soil so one round of tilling is enough.

As a gardener, watching your flowers bloom and become a beautiful garden can be exciting and quite satisfying but for it to be so, you need to do the first things first and do them correctly by properly preparing the soil, which is home to the flowers i.e. from carrying out all soil tests to digging and tilling it. The fruits of all the hard work, of course, come later so when they do, be strict and disciplined when it comes to taking care of the flowers in that you water, fertilize at the right time and even trim them if need be. It sure is a lot of handiwork but totally worth it.

Plant flowers in garden

Easy Guide for Planting Flowers in Your Backyard

March 23, 2022 0

Having your backyard full of colorful flowers and fragrance is satisfying but it requires a lot of work to arrive at such a rewarding outcome. You don’t just begin gardening blindly because it is a step by step activity. You also require certain information on flowers and general gardening.

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So What Basic Factors Should you be Aware of before the Pursuit?

Location

The location here is in terms of how accommodating it is for flower gardening. This is the first thing you should be wary of when growing a flower garden or even any other kinds of the garden. Will the kind of flowers you have chosen survive in that particular soil type or will you be forced to acquire a more favorable type of soil: how fertile is the soil? Is the environment, your backyard, garden/flower-friendly? How well is your backyard landscaped?

Design and Growth Variety

When you think of growing a flower garden, the first thing you think of is how you want it to look like. You should have a plan on how you want to partition the garden:  Do you want to plant your flowers in raised beds, or flat earth? What color pattern do you want or what kind of flowers would you prefer to grow?

When it comes to variety in terms of growth, there are:

Annuals - These are flowers that have a short life since they survive through one season of growth then die. For this reason, it will be easy for you to grow a variety over a particular period of time before you settle down for a specific one. The only drawback is that once you are satisfied with one, you will have to plant it back again when it dies but sometimes some annuals self-sow.

Perennials - Although they have a longer lifespan, they are more expensive than annuals. They bloom up to a guarantee of three seasons: they stay up on the soil during summer and spring periods and then die during winter.Perennials for garden

Biennials - They take a lot more time to glow when compared to the annuals and perennials because, during the first season, only the stem grows then the flowers bloom in the preceding season. They are however a bit similar to annuals in that after the flowers bloom, they die during the following season and in some cases they self-sow.

Planting the Flowers

Step One: Ground Preparation

This begins by clearing the sod, in this case, the backyard to create an appropriate ground for growing the flowers. The sod can be cleared by placing at least three layers of newspapers all over the ground and covering them with compost 3 inches high. After around four months, the sod will have died, the newspapers will have decomposed and the ground will be ready to begin planting. A quicker way to get the sod cleared is by digging through the backyard, but it is more engaging and tiresome since you also need to remove all stones as you dig.

Step Two: Tilling

Loosen the soil by tilling it to enable easy planting of the flowers. Another upside of tilling the ground is that it smoothens out the soil.Enrich the Soil

Step Three: Enrich the Soil

Most of the available organic matter works best in improving the soil. Soil enrichment is an important step because some soils may not contain rich content for flower growth.

Step Four: Get Your Flowers

After you are done with preparing the land, you need to obtain the flowers you chose to plant. They are planted in three forms:

Pre-grown Flowers

  •  They are also the potted flowers. To get the best results, you need to make sure that;
  • They have leafy stems - They signify a healthily growing plant.
  • There are no roots at the bottom growing through the holes because if there are any, it is evidence that the plant has been in the pot for too long. As a result, it may not be as healthy as it should be.
  • The soil is not frozen, flooded or dry because that means that the plant is not ready for planting.

If all the above is in check, then proceed to plant the flower and make sure the holes are deep enough to keep the roots inside the ground.

Seeds

It is advisable to check directions if any on the seed packet to ensure that you follow the right procedure to plant them. This is because different seeds are handled differently when planting. For seeds that you plan on planting in a pot first, make sure that you use a sterile potting mix because this guarantees health and curbs diseases. If you are keeping the potted flowers indoors, take them out during the day for sunlight which is an essential factor of growth.

Bulbs

When planting bulbs, make sure that the side that is showing roots should be the one placed on the ground. In simple terms, the pointed side should face upwards. When digging a hole for a bulb, a good rule of thumb is digging one that is two to three times the size of the bulb. It is also advisable to put a small fence to deter pests away.

Step Five: Watering

To tightly seal and provide moisture to the seeds or bulbs, water the entire area. Develop a habit of watering the plant on a daily basis mainly because the roots are not well established and it is after they are that you water them depending on the soil or how humid the place is.

Step Six: Mulch

A decomposing mulch will be the most suitable for the flower if it is an annual but if it is a perennial, then go with mulch that takes time to decompose. Mulching is important because it will lock the water in.

It just doesn’t end there, you need to take good care of your flower garden. Keep the garden well groomed by trimming the flowers that need trimming and weed it when necessary.