Tips for Preparing a New Flower Bed

Article written by Saturday6' blogger Kim Wilson from Sand&Sisal

Let your yard by the envy of the neighborhood this spring! Add curb appeal to your yard with these helpful tips for preparing a new flower bed.

Tip # 1 - Creative Curves

Use a long garden hose or a heavy duty outdoor extension cord to design your new flower bed's perimeter. This helps give you a visual perspective of how your new bed will look. If you desire to create a new flower bed that maintains a specific width, then I have found that a cut piece of PVC pipe or lumber is an easy measuring tool. Simply cut the piece of PVC to your desired length and slide it along, adjusting your perimeter markers (hose or cord) to the desired flower bed width.

Tip # 2 - Make Your Mark

When you are completely pleased with your design and layout, then go ahead and lightly spray paint a line along the edge of your hose or cord. This will outline the area of your new flower bed. I usually use any spray primer I have on hand. Don't worry; the spray paint will disappear after a few lawn mowings.

Tip # 3 - Spray and Amend

Spray the existing grass or vegetation with a weed or grass killer. Look for a product that will kill weeds and grass down to the roots and also has no soil activity, meaning it will not affect the soil or nearby untreated plants. After the grass is dead, remove it with a shovel. Amend the soil (heavily if you have clay soil) with a good organic soil conditioner like compost. Mix it in well with a garden tiller.

Tip # 4 - Plant Perennials and Annuals

After amending the soil, plant a selection of new perennials and annuals. Choosing two-thirds perennials and one-third annuals will ensure that the flower beds will have plants filling it each year and it will also reduce the amount of maintenance you will need to give the new flower bed. Be sure to space the plants apart accordingly, so they will not crowd each other at full maturity. Water the new flower bed and finish with a thick layer of mulch to help maintain moisture and prevent weeds.

Soon your new flower beds will be flourishing! Don't forget to check out Troy-Bilt's full line of hand-held garden tools and tillers, designed to help make your gardening projects easier.