The Q&A Archives: Beginner in gardening

Question: I am in the process of planting some hostas with annuals in a small flower bed on the side of my home. How do you think I should begin? And what other types of flowers would you recommend to me to start. I am new at this and just need a few tips.

Answer: The best way to start is to amend your soil with organic matter to help loosen it, help it hold moisture and yet drain well. Start by spreading 4-5 inches of organic matter over the bed. You can use compost, aged manure, shredded leaves or whatever organic matter is readily available in your local area. Dig or till this organic matter into the soil - 8-10 inches deep. Plant your perennials and mulch over the bare soil between the plants with additional organic matter. A 2-3 inch layer will help suppress weeds and slow water evaporation. Hostas like shade so other flowers that go into the bed should also like shade. Try impatiens, lobelia, bleeding heart, wax begonia, coleus, and pansies. Enjoy your new garden!

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