How to Plant a Flower Garden

A flower garden adds special pleasures to your summer days, whether it's relaxing in your yard with sweet scents or brightening your home with fresh-cut blooms.

Flower Gardening 101

Planting your own flowers can also inspire a passion for gardening in young children, who delight in tending to sky-high sunflowers and fragrant petals that attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Our step-by-step guide to how to plant a flower garden outlines everything you need to know to add beauty and grace to your backyard space. 

Task Overview

Estimated time: 3-4 hours
Estimated cost: under $50
Skill level: Beginner
Number of people required: 1

Tools & Materials:

Flower Gardening Steps

  1. Start with a plan
    Make a detailed landscaping diagram that outlines the size and shape of your garden and specifies the flowers you will plant. Choose flowers you love for their colour, fragrance or use. When selecting flowers, it's important to consider your yard’s sun exposure, climate and soil conditions. Mark the placement of the flowers, giving careful thought to spacing and height requirements. A little research goes a long way: a walk through your neighbourhood can provide inspiration and direction for your garden design.
  2. Pick a palette
    When mapping out your garden, use coloured pencils to play with different colour schemes and pick a pretty palette for your petals. You can choose between monochromatic (different shades of the same colour), contrasting (opposites on the colour wheel, such as blue and orange, red and green, or yellow and purple) and analogous (neighbouring shades on the colour wheel, such as blue, purple and pink or red, orange and yellow) colour schemes.
  3. Select a site
    Location is key for a successful garden. Select a site that receives as much direct sunlight as possible, and avoid areas with shallow, rocky soil, steep slopes or poor drainage. You should also avoid digging near underground utility lines, and stay 20 feet away from large trees and five feet away from bushes as they’ll compete for water and nutrients.
  4. Prepare your soil
    Outline your flower bed with a garden hose or string attached to stakes. Using a spade, turn over the soil to a depth of one foot and then level the soil. During this process, you should remove any sod, weeds and rocks. Test the soil to determine its pH level and establish what nutrients it needs. As required, add organic material such as peat, compost and manure, and a general-purpose fertilizer. Then, using your spade, work these additions into the top six inches of the soil.
  5. Mix annuals and perennials
    So which blooms are best? Annuals provide constant colour from spring through fall but need replanting every year and require lots of care. Perennials give structure and form to a garden but don’t bloom as long, require annual care and take time to get established. Many gardens benefit from both. Try incorporating perennials for a solid, reliable foundation, and use annuals to change the look of your garden from year to year.
  6. Select seeds or plants
    Both annuals and perennials can be sown from seed, but it can take weeks for annuals and up to a year for perennials to emerge. You can start seeds indoors so they’re seedlings when you’re ready to plant. (Seed-starting soil mixes and a sunny windowsill are all you need to get them started.) For faster results, start with already sprouted plants, but be sure they haven’t bloomed yet.
  7. Get planting
    Before you dig, make sure you have all the tools, supplies and topsoil you need. Keep in mind you'll need extra topsoil to make raised flower beds. For plants: carefully remove from pots to protect roots and plant; water each plant before covering roots with topsoil. For seeds: read the packet for instructions on when to plant, how deep and how far apart; spread seeds uniformly and cover with soil to protect them from birds. Water the area with a fine spray to keep the soil damp.
  8. Layer with mulch
    Cover the soil with a couple of inches of mulch to help keep weeds out and water in. Choose from a variety of mulches based on your garden’s needs. Wood mulches (such as cedar, pine and cypress) insulate plants and repel insects, while coloured mulches add visual appeal. If you’ve planted a bed of annuals, choose a mulch that will decompose in a few months; if you’ve planted perennials, use a longer-lasting mulch such as bark chips.
  9. Tend to your garden with TLC
    Water new plants at least every other day until the roots become established, then taper off to two or three times a week. How often you water depends on your backyard’s soil, humidity and rainfall. Weed your garden at least once a month to stop weeds from overtaking your garden. Remove spent blooms from perennial flowers such as hydrangeas to promote new blooms.

Flower Gardening Tips:

• For cut blooms, perennials such as chrysanthemum, roses and carnations are a great choice
• If you plant native flowers, your garden will require less maintenance
• If you’re a beginner, start with flowers that are easy to grow. For perennials, consider black-eyed Susans, purple coneflowers, pansies or phlox; for annuals, consider cosmos, marigolds, geraniums and zinnias
• Plant perennials in mid-spring and mid-fall; wait until the danger of frost has passed to plant annuals
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



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