April Showers Bring May Flowers! How To Prep a Flower Garden

Dated: April 7 2022

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Nothing brings a home or patio to life more than fresh flowers! Flowers can brighten a room or outdoor space, and research also shows flowers can lift moods and promote wellness. And if you are thinking of selling your home this season, flowers are one of the quickest and easiest ways to freshen up your yard!

Whether you have a green thumb or are a budding (couldn't resist!) gardener, now is a great time to prep your flower garden to enjoy summer and fall blooms. Before you start digging in the dirt, here are ways to prep your flower garden this year.

Location, Location, Location

The first step in prepping a flower garden is to find the perfect spot in your yard! Do your favorite plants like full sun? Shade? Or somewhere in between? Choosing the right location for your plants will help determine their overall health and how much - and often - they bloom.

Plants that like full sun should be placed in a flower bed that receives at least six or more hours of sunlight each day. More sun = more blooms! Choose a south-facing location for drought-resistant perennials like:

  • Yarrow: Yarrow tolerates heat and is super easy to grow. The flower comes in several different colors with yellow, orange, red, pink, or white blooms. The best part? Critters like deer, rabbits, and other pests stay away from yarrow.
  • Pineleaf penstemon: If you love red flowers, you will love this plant! Pineleaf penstemon produces masses of bright scarlet-red flowers that attract butterflies and hummingbirds.
  • Meadow sage: Meadow sage, a salvia variety, produces clusters of blue flowers during the mid-summer into fall. They love the sun and don't complain too much during a dry spell. 

Does your yard lack a good amount of direct sunlight during the day? No worries! If your garden location is a tad on the shady side, here are a few good flower choices that still have some color:

 

  • Geranium: You may be surprised to learn that the flower you THOUGHT was a geranium (the ones you usually see for sale in a planter) is actually something different called a pelargonium. True geraniums are perennials that love the shade and bloom all summerlong.
  • Astilbe: Astilbe, also called 'Meadowsweet' comes in pinks, purples, and whites and blooms from late spring into summer. If you cut it back after blooming, you may get a bonus bloom!
  • Heuchera: Also known as 'Coral Bells,' heuchera is a hardy shade flower that not only has rich, deep foliage, but also has white, pink, or red flowers all summer.

Choosing the right location for your flower garden is the first step to having a colorful, fun, inviting garden this season. If you are unsure which flowers to choose for your garden, talk to an expert at your local garden center. They can help you find the right plants for your location. 

Time to Dig!

Have you ever admired a flower garden and wondered what is the key to growing beautiful blooms? The answer lies in the quality of the soil. Good soil is rich with nutrients that feed the flowers and help them bloom. Soil should also be well-drained and loose. If you are unsure if your soil is healthy enough for flowers, many hardware stores and gardening centers carry soil testing kits to determine the soil quality.

When starting to dig, remember you don't need to dig a super large area to plant flowers, but you do need to keep some space to add compost. Compost improves soil structure and adds nutrients. This is important for some areas of our region where the soil may be less than ideal for perennials. 

Plant Your Flowers

You have the perfect location, your soil is prepped and ready, and now comes the fun part - planting! You are the artist here and can arrange your flowers in anyway you desire. The important thing to keep in mind is to follow the planting instructions for each specific type of flower. Some like their roots very shallow, and others like to be deeper in the ground.

If you purchased potted plants, remove the plant from its pot and gently massage the soil so it loosens up the roots. Place the flower in its location and push the soil into the hole. Don't pack the soil too densely - it should be somewhat firm, but not packed down tightly. 

Add Finishing Touches

When you plant your flowers, they need some immediate (and ongoing!) TLC. Thoroughly soak the soil after planting. Garden flowers usually need 1-2 inches of water each week, depending on the variety. It's best to water deeply into the soil less frequently than watering shallow often. The goal here is to get water to the roots so they grow deeper.

Adding a layer of mulch to the flower bed can help keep moisture from evaporating too quickly. Some mulch varieties are specifically made for flower beds and even contain nutrients to help them grow. 

Groom and Prune

Once your flowers are rooted and blooming, you can cut them for bouquets! Fresh flowers are a lovely touch to a home - the colors add a bit of vibrancy and you may even have a sweet aroma depending on the flower. Some flowers will produce more blooms after you cut them giving you twice as many flowers to enjoy.

Even if you aren't cutting your flowers for bouquets or arrangements, you should still clip or pull away dead flowers and foliage. This will give the plant a much cleaner look and will extend its lifespan. 

Home Tips from your Local Real Estate Professionals

At Iron Valley Real Estate York County, we are more than just real estate agents - we are partners in your home buying and selling journey. As realtors, we understand how to make a house feel like a home, and work with both home buyers and sellers to help them realize their real estate goals.

With offices in York, Pa. and Hanover, Pa., our team of agents is ready to help you. We work with home sellers in York County, Adams County, Lancaster County, and Dauphin County. Several of our 60+ agents are also licensed in Maryland. If you are thinking of buying or selling a home soon, reach out to us today to get connected to an agent. 

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