Brighten Up Your Garden with Perennials

If you are like me, you may have started gardening by planting a small vegetable garden. A vegetable garden is nice as it provides a bounty of produce, but it can at times seem to look very dull. Then I discovered how to brighten it up with some color by planting perennials. It really is very easy to have a perennial garden. Brighten Up Your Garden with Perennials

Brighten Up Your Garden with Perennials photo credit: spierzchala

A friend advised me that a perennial garden would add beautiful color to my garden and I wouldn’t have to redo it every year like with other types of gardens. That sounded good to me so I gave it a try and loved the results.

You must have good drainage in your soil for perennial gardens to grow properly. They will not grow if the soil they are in stays saturated for long periods of time. A raised bed can alleviate this problem or you can dig a trench in the ground fill it with some crushed rock and then put a layer of soil back on top. To determine if you need to go to these measures, test your soil. Dig a hole in the ground where you want your garden to be and fill it with water. The next day fill it again and check it later in the day if the soil in the hole is still wet, you will need to improve the drainage in that area by using one of the two above methods.

Picking out the right perennials for your area can be tricky. The goal should be to have blooming flowers for as long as possible during the year. During your planning stage you can create an outline for the whole year. Research the different types of flowers that you like and when they bloom. If you plan it right, your yard can be a constantly changing array of colors and flowers.

You can order perennial seeds online but there is very little help that way. If you are new to perennial gardening I recommend buying your seeds from a local florist or nursery. You might be able to find a custom seed mixture designed for the growing conditions of your area. This takes the really tough research part out of the job. If one of these pre-made mixes isn’t available, you can ask the employees what they think would be a good mixture. They are usually very knowledgeable about what thrives in your climate, that?s their job.

With careful planning and some help from an expert either a book or local gardening expert, you can have beautiful blooms nearly year round in your garden. You can plant your seeds in groups and place different seeds in the group that have different growing cycles. That way there is always at least one plant in bloom in that section of the garden at all times. When one plant dies, another is just starting to bloom and so on.

When planting the seeds, you should space them out in small separate clumps according to the directions. Perennials tend to spread out and if you have too many too close together then they will end up trying to share the water and nutrients in the soil and will choke each other out. As you plant them, throw in a little bit of weak fertilizer to help the seeds get started. With a little bit of care in the beginning you should start to see flowers blooming up that will return year after year.

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© DavidJelling for The Gardener's Rake, 2009. |
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