The Q&A Archives: Simple But Beautiful

Question: Hello,
Ok we have two flower beds and they are dry and it does not look like I could grow an Onion in there, but the problem is the 2 flower beds are right at the front of our door so our curb appeal or maybe porch appeal is horrendous, there is no appeal. So my question is what is the easiest way to start a simple but color and pretty garden in these two beds? Should I use seeds or potted flower and re plant them in the beds? Do i need manure to cover over the dry dirt in the beds already?? Please help its my first time at this I just want a pretty porch thank you!

Answer: You can renovate those two flower beds and make them look spectacular! You'll want to start by improving the soil with organic matter. While this may sounds like a really labor intensive step, it's very important. With nicely improved soil, practically anything you plant will thrive and the beds will be trouble free for years to come.

Begin by removing any existing vegetation. I like to start at one end and dig into the soil, removing any weeds I unearth, roots and all. Once you've gotten all debris out of the bed, cover the entire bed with 4-5" of organic matter (compost, aged manure, etc.) and dig it into the soil to a depth of about 8". After digging in the organic matter, rake the bed level and then choose your plants. I would use potted plants (available in flats or six-paks, if you want to keep the cost down). After planting, cover the bare soil with another few inches of organic mulch material to help suppress weeds and slow water evaporation.

The plants you choose will depend upon whether the beds get sunshine or shade. Try planting both annuals and perennials, and remember to place the tallest or largest plants in the back of the bed, graduating down to the lowest plants. You can have a riot of color in just a few months.


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