The Q&A Archives: What to plant?

Question: I would like to plant perennials in my front garden that I can forget about and will look nice year after year. The area is full sun. I was thinking constant bloom spring, summer, into fall. Please suggest options. Thanks!

Answer: Although there are some low maintenance perennials, they are not going to be no maintenance. For best results you will need to prepare the soil by: removing existing vegetation, loosening it down about a foot, working in organic matter such as compost, and then planting.

After planting, you will need to keep the area weeded and mulched with several inches of organic mulch year round. (This will help reduce watering needs, keep down weeds, and feed the soil slowly over time as it breaks down.)

During the first entire year after planting you will need to monitor the soil and water as needed to keep it evenly moist like a wrung out sponge any time it is not frozen. After that, you might need to water if there is an extended dry spell in the heat of summer.

Some sun loving, low maintenance perennials you could try would include the tawny daylily or Hemerocallis fulva (I think this plant is as close to no maintenance as you can get) for summer flowers, sedums such as "Autumn Joy" or "Neon" for autumn flowers, and crocus and daffodil bulbs planted in the fall for spring color. Plant the bulbs at the back of the bed behind the daylilies so the emerging daylilies will hide the fading bulb foliage. Enjoy your flowers!

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