Flowerbeds can infuse your outdoor space with fresh bursts of color, while simultaneously attracting butterflies and hummingbirds to your yard. Unfortunately, even simple missteps can be detrimental to the life of your new plants and flowers, which is why careful planning and execution is so important. Here are three gardening mistakes to avoid when you make your flowerbed.
1. Choosing the Wrong Location
When it comes to landscaping your yard, your first choice of flowerbed location might be wherever your eye is naturally drawn when you look at your yard. Unfortunately, choosing gardening locations without a lot of forethought is a recipe for disaster.
Without adequate sunlight and water, your plants will likely shrivel and die. Additionally, choosing a spot that is easily accessible to children and pets could leave you wondering why plants are damaged. To stay on the safe side, carefully consider where your flowerbed would have the most visual impact while still staying safe.
As you evaluate potential flowerbed locations, don't forget to consider factors like shadows from nearby trees or structures. Additionally, think about the location of buried French drains, which could flood the groundwater in the area with moisture when you aren't expecting it.
After you have chosen a spot for your new garden, evaluate the soil condition in the area, and stretch nearby hoses to the spot to make sure they reach. Also, think about the convenience of the area. If you can get to the area easily and manage the plants effectively, the flowerbed is more likely to thrive.
2. Overwatering New Plants
By the time you have tilled your flowerbed soil and worked hard to choose plants that will survive the local climate, you might be tempted to water them frequently to make sure they won't die. Unfortunately, overwatering can be just as damaging to new plants as underwatering since the roots can become flooded and incapable of absorbing ground nutrients.
As a general rule of thumb, flowerbeds and gardens need about an inch of moisture per week, which should keep the top 6 inches or so of soil moist and fertile. To see if your flowerbed area is currently getting enough moisture, push a dry screwdriver into the ground. If the ground seems arid, install a rain or sprinkler gauge in your flowerbed, and monitor water levels carefully.
Because rainfall can significantly impact the amount of water your plants receive, consider installing a rain sensor if you have an automated irrigation system. These special devices are relatively inexpensive and are designed to automatically halt normal irrigation schedules when it rains outside.
3. Applying Too Much Mulch
Many people apply mulch to their flowerbeds to add contrast and shade root systems, but unfortunately, adding too much mulch can create the perfect breeding ground for insects, fungus, and molds that can harm your plants. Additionally, because thick layers of mulch can attract insects like termites, adding piles of mulch could even harm nearby trees, decorative accents, or structures.
To prevent problems while gaining the full benefit of mulch, try to keep mulch levels no more than 3 inches thick, and watch out for wind-blown piles. If you are using homemade mulch with grass clippings, keep the mulch around an inch thick, since these denser coverings can hold more water than traditional bark varieties. Keep in mind that all organic mulch varieties are prone to deterioration over time, which means you may have to refresh mulch levels every year.
Gardening isn't always easy, which is why it pays to have professionals on your side. At Creative Greenery, our experienced team can help with everything from landscape planning and flowerbed installation to plant rental for your office. To learn more about how we can help, visit our website.