Flower Planting and Maintenance
One way lawn care companies increase business (with current clients) is by installing and maintaining flower beds. While there are many specifics that need to be considered for each different plant type, the fundamentals of creating and sustaining beautiful flower beds are the same as caring for any other plant.
Flower Bed Installation
Choosing the right plants for the environment is crucial to long term success. When selecting or recommending plants for the area, you need to consider details like the soil type, how much sun the bed receives, soil moisture and seasonal temperature. Information on the specifics for each plant can be readily found online and most nurseries are well equipped to help make recommendations.
Once plants have been selected, preparing the flower bed is the next crucial step. First you should consider getting a soil test done through a local university extension office. This test will determine if there are any deficiencies that need to be corrected and will also show if there are any challenges with soil pH.
Tilling the top 6 inches of soil and amending it with compost is recommended along with fertilizer. In most cases the fertilizer should have a balanced NPK ratio close to 1-1-1. For new plantings, using a natural based fertilizer is a safer option because there is little chance of burning or damaging the plants during the stressful period after planting. Using a product like Healthy Start Advanced 3-4-3 or Healthy Start Advanced MRT 3-4-3 will feed the soil using all natural fertilizer ingredients and they also amend the soil with beneficial microbes and biostimulants. The beneficial bacteria, mycorrhizal fungi and other biostimulants help flowers recover from stress quicker and improve long term soil health.
Now that all of the planning and preparation is complete it is time to plant the bed. Most flowers should be planted so that the ground level is even with the container they were growing in but be sure to follow any specifics related to the plants you are using. Back fill in with the amended soil making sure to fill any air gaps around the root zone and then water well. Applying a layer of mulch is recommended to help prevent weeds and maintain soil moisture.
Flower Bed Maintenance
When caring for an existing flower bed it is important to know what the particular needs of the flowers are. This is where a soil test will come in handy. For general fertilization using a balanced NPK, like Woodace 14-14-14 for Flowers is recommended.
There are cases where special requirements need to be met so that the plants can thrive. As an example, azaleas and rhododendrons prefer acidic soil. Using a fertilizer like Woodace 12-3-6 which has a higher sulfur content will help lower the soil pH.
Weed control is also important. As mentioned previously, a generous layer of mulch helps prevent weeds. In addition it is beneficial to use a pre-emergent weed control like Woodace Preen Plus, which is designed for flower and shrub beds and prevents a lengthy list of weeds from growing.
LebanonTurf has many products in the ROOTS and Woodace lines formulated specifically for use with flowers. You can find more information on the brand pages, specific product pages or contact us for help with product specifications or application questions.