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Video:How to Start a Flower Garden

with David Rife

Starting a flower garden is a great landscaping idea to beautify your yard or add to an existing garden. Learn how to design, amend and plant a new flower garden in this how-to video from About.com.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Start a Flower Garden

Hello, my name is David Rife, Senior Horticulturalist for the Atlanta Botanical Garden, here today for About.com. Today, I'm am going to tell you how to start a flower bed using annuals, perennials or a combination of both.

Tools for Preparig a Flower Bed

You will need shovels and trowels depending on the size of the plants that you are planting.

You'll need an extension chord to map out the size and shape of the bed or a garden hose.

And you will also need black plastic or a tarp in order to kill the grass or weeds that will be underneath where your bed will be.

You are going to need sod staples in order to affix it to the ground and hold it tight.

Laying Out a Flower Bed

The next step is laying out the space for your bed. Use the extension cord that I just mentioned. Map it out however you'd like it. Curves look better than straight lines. When you have figured this out, you then want to take the tarp or black plastic and cover the entire area. Fold it to make the corners and use a hammer and nail your sod staples down into the turf. 

Amending a Flower Bed

Now you're ready to amend your beds. You want to use a high quality finished horse manure compost or a high quality planters mix. You can find either of these by contacting your local extension office, or a reputable local landscape supply company. 

The amount of amendment that you use is directly related to the size of your bed and how much height you want to give to your bed. A mounded bed always looks better and provides better drainage than a flat bed. Your plants do not want to sit in water. 

Adding Plants to Your Garden

When you're ready to buy your plants, make sure to source healthy plants from a reputable nursery. You can check the health of your plants by actually taking them out of the container at the nursery and inspecting their roots. If you see the last half of the root ball intertwined with roots and no soil you might want to find a different plant. 

What you want to see are roots covering the proportionate amount of the soil and the root ball. You don't want the root ball to fall apart but you not want the root ball to be completely root.

Now that you're ready to plant, dig all of your holes one and a half times the width and the depth of the actual plant's root ball.

Back fill and plant the plant with the crown slightly above the grade of the soil, gently sloping up towards it. This is another measure to make sure your plant does not drown and stay over watered. 

After planting you are now ready to mulch. You want to much all around the bare spaces in between your plants. If you're not able to do this immediately after planting make sure all your plants are well watered by hand on the first day. 

By following these simple steps you can create a garden at your home that can be admired for the season if using annuals, or for many years if you're using perennials.

Thanks for watching. To learn more, visit us on the web at About.com.

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