I am not sure what hardiness zone I am, but I need advice on how to prepare garden beds for spring planting. Right now there are weeds growing in a north facing flower bed that gets partial shade. I am in northern Ohio, not by the lake.
By Cara from Kent, OH
Take a yard fork and mix the soil really good. Apply either weed sheets or newspapers to your beds, then add mulch. You don't need fertilizer but you need to ensure that you jiggle the roots of the plants that you are planting. When planting new plants, dig a hole 1/5 times the size of the plant. Put top soil at the bottom of the hole, then a little bit of water, then the plant with its roots separated. Put top soil around the plant and cover until the base of the plant. The top soil is needed so that the roots can grab on to something that is loose as opposed to caked on dirt that has been there before. Water your plant again and let it be for about 2 days. Then water again and let it be for another 2 days. You should then be able to see if the leaves have perked up and if the plant is settled into its new home. Make sure you water the base of the plant and not the leaves. Cover the plant with mulch. You can prepare your flower beds for practically nothing as long as you work with both the location of the plant and the plant itself. The cheapest top soil is sold at KMart for $0.99 for 40 lbs and it is better than the more expensive kinds. Good luck!
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I have trouble getting flowers to grow. What should I use to get my flower beds ready for planting flowers? What kind of fertilizer is good? My house faces the sun in the afternoon. Last year I planted flowers and they looked the same months later as to when I originally brought them.
I have had wild success with a very thrifty, yet organic method called sheet composting or lasagna gardening. There is an article about it here on Thriftyfun.
I hope this helps. (04/28/2008)