Plan Your Perennial Garden
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Pick Your Plants
When planning a perennial garden, start by choosing a select group of easy-to-grow, long-blooming plants. Review plant catalogs and garden books to find flowers you like. Look for colors that blend well together and bloom times that vary throughout the season.
Popular perennials that bloom from early summer to autumn are Blue Speedwells and Threadleef Tickseed. Russian Sage, Blue Perennial Sage, Blue Pincushion Flower, Pink Astilbe, and the Purple Coneflower bloom from midsummer to fall. Purple-Leaved Beard-Tongue and Purple Coralbells flower throughout the summer, and Black-Eyed Susans last into late fall.Date Published: January 15, 2018Date Updated: January 15, 2018
Design Your Garden
After choosing your plants, design your garden. Whether you spray paint the lawn in your desired design or draw it on paper, make ure everything fits exactly how you want it.
Take plant space into account when planning your garden area. For each perennial, you'll need to know the mature size. If your perennials are in pots with plant tags, look for that information on the tag. For bare-root perennials or starts obtained from neighbors or friends, research mature size.Date Published: January 15, 2018Date Updated: January 15, 2018
Ready Your Tools
Get your tools ready for planting: with just a few, you'll be all set for planting season. Make sure you have what you need, and keep them clean by brushing them off and storing them spade-side down in a bucket of moist sand.
A digging spade or round-point spade creates a sharp, straight bed edging. It's also useful for digging holes for large perennials. A short-handle shovel, sometime's sold as a contractor's shovel, works well for digging small holes. The short handle is easy to manage while on your knees, which makes it an ideal tool for working in the garden. A transplanting spade has a long, narrow blade that fits neatly between established perennials. It's the digging tool of choice when you're working in an established planting bed and digging around plants. For small perennials in 2- or 4-inch pots, a hand trowel or hoe speeds up planting, especially when soil is loose and easy to dig.Date Published: January 15, 2018Date Updated: January 15, 2018
If you're storing your perennials before planting, give them special care to keep them healthy out-of-ground. If planting in less than a week, keep perennials in a shaded spot with freely circulating air. Water when soil is dry, especially on windy days. If storing perennials for more than a week, treat shade perennials as above, and give sun-loving plants four hours of sun or more daily. Water when soil is dry.Date Published: January 15, 2018Date Updated: January 15, 2018
Plant on Time
Aim to plant perennials at a season when they'll be able to sink roots with the least amount of stress. In cold climates, planting in late spring or early summer gives plants a whole season to grow before winter cold arrives. Fall is a great planting time in mild regions, where winter brings moist soil and cool air without freezing temperatures. For climates with distinct wet and dry seasons, plant perennials at the start of the rainy season and let rainfall irrigate the plants naturally.Date Published: January 15, 2018Date Updated: January 15, 2018
Make or Buy Mulch
Plan ahead by obtaining enough mulch for planting time. While mulch quality and price varies, you can find inexpensive quality mulch. Composting yard waste or buying anothers' inexpensive compsot are great low-cost options. New perennial beds need a layer of mulch to keep soil moisture up and weeds down. Adding mulch after planting works well when dealing with large perennials - quart or gallon-size. For small and bareroot perennials, it's often easier to mulch the bed before planting. To plant, just pull back mulch and dig a planting hole.Date Published: January 15, 2018Date Updated: January 15, 2018
Clearing vegetation and blending amendments into the soil, while time-consuming, are important starting points before the planting process.
Arrange your perennials in the garden, and work outward from an edge. Place the plants with the right amount of spacing for their mature size. If using potted perennials, let them sit on the bed for a few days to view the design and make any changes.Date Published: January 15, 2018Date Updated: January 15, 2018
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