The Q&A Archives: re-inventing his garden

Question: I am getting married in June and moving into my fiance's house. He has a large front, south-facing lawn and no flowers. I would like aperhaps have a flower bed down the side of the lawn next to the drive and dig up some of the ugly bushes near the front door and plant colorful flowers. When can I start this(month-wise) and how should I tackle it? The flower are goingto have to like a lot of sun.

Answer: You would need to start right away with soil preparation: remove existing grass or plants, loosen soil, work in organic matter, run basic soil tests to determine if pH and fertility are adequate for flowers. Then you would plant your flowers. Perennials can be planted now, annuals would be planted after your last expected spring frost which is probably sometime around now also. It is better for the plants to plant sooner than wait until June when summer is starting to get hot. After planting, you need to keep the area weeded and mulched with several inches of organic mulch, water as needed to keep the soil slightly damp like a wrung out sponge (not saturated). Some annuals for hot sun would include marigolds, petunias, salvia, flowering vinca, sunflowers, and tithonia. Some perennials for hot sun would include daylilies (Hemerocallis), black eyed Susan (Rudbeckia), purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) and sedums. Enjoy your flowers this summer and congratulations on your wedding!

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