12 Steps To Install An Easy and Successful Flower Bed in Fifteen Minutes. No Digging Required!

My wife asked me to plant a small flower bed in the front yard. I was feeling tired and lazy on a Sunday afternoon. The dirt in the front yard is brick hard and I really didn’t feel like digging any holes—plus, I knew that the flowers wouldn’t do well there anyway. The only good part was that she had already bought the flowers so I wouldn’t have to go to the store.

instant 1

How do you plant flowers in brick hard dirt?

I looked around at all my “yard stuff” leftovers and grinned. I took the rake out front and raked the pine straw back to the shape I wanted for two beds, one larger than the other. The larger bed looked like this.

instant 2

I raked the pine straw away from the area to be planted.

I had been grinning earlier because I realized that I had four bags of this garden soil. It had been on special at four for ten bucks at the box stores the week before. This is really some pretty good stuff—it seems to be a mix of decomposed wood products and it stays where you put it. I’m sure that it needs fertilizer and lime, but I’ll get to that shortly.

instant 4

Instead of digging down, I’m going to build up.

I had enough of the garden soil to pile it up to a depth of about five inches. I have found that if I do this, the earthworms will work under it and till it into the bad dirt for me. At any rate, the plants will grow in these mounds of  manufactured garden soil.

instant 5

I pile up the soil. The worms will till it in for me.

I used the back side of the rake to smooth the top of the mound. I want to maintain a four or five inch thick pile of soil. I’ll bet I use the back side of the rake as much as I use the tines. It is a versatile tool.

instant 6

Smooth lightly. The depth should still be four to six inches.

I like to use a time release plant food when I install a flower bed. This gives us months of steady feeding and is really a time saver. There are many different kinds of time release food, but remember, I was into just using what I had on hand.

instant 7

Time release fertilizer will make the plants take off and go

A lot of people ask me how much fertilizer to use. With the time release I find it easier to just point at a picture and say, “It should look like this.”

instant 8

Time release fertilizer, spread properly, will look like this

Now I was ready to plant. It had taken exactly six minutes to get the planting beds ready. I now had to plant about sixteen three-inch pots of begonias. I pulled the plants out of their containers and pinched the tops out before laying them into a carrying tray. (If you want to know why I pinched the tops out, Click Here to read my very popular article on the basics of pruning.) Anyway, here’s the picture of pinching a tip from a begonia.

instant 9

pruning is important

I have the plants ready to put into the soil. I can now dig a hole with my fingers—It’s more “forming” a hole because I promised “no digging.”

instant 10

It sure is easy with good garden soil

I put the plant into the hole and pack the soil firmly around and over the root ball. Note—try to have the plant in the soil at the same depth as it was growing in the pot. There are some exceptions to this rule but it is usually not good to plant too deep.

instant 10

It sure is easy with good garden soil

With two minutes to go I quickly scatter the straw back over the planting area. Sometimes I will spread the straw first and then plant  through it but I liked the way the pictures looked without doing it that way.

instant 12

At this point, “just add water.”

It is no trouble at all to call Sweetie out to take a look at the flower bed as I turn on our special sprinkler to water the area. These plants will be grown in and be beautiful in just a few short weeks. (If you like my home-made sprinkler, Click Here to get the assembly instructions. It is the best sprinkler ever.) I always try to heed the advice of my father-in-law, Bob Hicks, who said, “John, always remember—‘Happy Wife, Happy Life.”’

instant 13

Happy Wife, Happy Life And it only took 14 minutes and 58 seconds

Good Luck with your flower bed.

If you wish to see more of my wonderful writing, two of my books are available from Amazon in print or as ebooks. Here are the links:

Sweetie Drives On Chemo Days, Click Here

Requiem For a Redneck, Click Here

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Judy Well
    Jun 05, 2016 @ 17:44:56

    Nice JP

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Reply

  2. Dekie Hicks
    Jun 05, 2016 @ 18:09:14

    This is most wonderful! Anybody can find 15 minutes. (plus the time it takes to get the supplies on-site.)

    Reply

  3. Bill Barker
    Jun 05, 2016 @ 18:19:52

    Thanks John
    Bill

    Reply

  4. Mysticalwriter
    Jun 05, 2016 @ 23:24:28

    Reblogged this on Mysticalwriter and commented:
    Here is a great idea for those of you that have “brick hard dirt” & can’t even break up that dirt!
    Reblogged

    Reply

  5. Amber Nagle
    Jun 06, 2016 @ 06:15:51

    So simple. Why haven’t I ever thought of doing this? Thanks John! I need to check out how to build that sprinkler, too.

    Reply

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