April 25, 2021
In the garden, Day 7—preparation
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
― Benjamin Franklin
“Only someone who is well prepared has the opportunity to improvise.”
― Ingmar Bergman
We plant pansies in the fall and replace them with annual flowers in the spring.
Every two or three years we need to clean out the bed, add organic matter and nutrients, and dig it in.
Of course, every flower bed is different, but I have a formula that I use when bed preparation is called for.
First, we clean the area. We pull or dig out all of the old plants that will be replaced. We get the bed as weed-free as possible
The next step is to add organic matter and nutrients. I use a soil conditioner that I get out at Willow Creek, mushroom compost, fertilizer, and lots of lime. Lime keeps the acid balance in the soil at desirable levels and allows the plants to take up the nitrogen in the fertilizer and compost.
We spread a few bags of the soil conditioner over the top of the bed and then we sprinkle a significant amount of the mushroom compost on top of that. I spread pelletized lime on top of this mix and then we turn it with a shovel to mix things together or sometimes we use a small tiller. I like to till the soil to a depth of 6 to 8 inches.
After digging in and mixing the ingredients, I sprinkle a balanced fertilizer over the top of the bed. Another, perhaps better way of adding fertilizer is to add Osmocote or some similar time-release fertilizer to each hole as you plant the flowers.
I thought it would be fun to tell about some of our gardens as we plant them and then to go back and look at them later in the summer.
In this flower bed, the client likes bright, vivid colors. I am using Sunpatiens of several colors and Dragon Wing begonias. I have found these varieties to be most dependable.
I love planting flower beds and the rewards are many.
An old businessman once said, “John, it only costs a hell of a lot more to go first class.”