How to Plant Flowers in Raised Beds

Written by shane grey
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How to Plant Flowers in Raised Beds
Flowers decorate a raised bed (garden image by memorialphoto from Fotolia.com)

A poor planting site stunts the growth of vibrant flowers and detracts from the joy of gardening. Raised beds allow a gardener to plant in pre-sifted, amended soils; improve soil drainage and air circulation; and avoid excessive bending and kneeling. Planting flowers in raised beds follows the same, simple principles as planting them in-ground, and the improved soil and drainage can enhance the quality and appearance of your plants.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Garden spade
  • Compost
  • Peat moss
  • Utility knife
  • Containerised flower transplants
  • Mulch

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Amend the raised bed's soil. Use a garden spade or hands to spread a 1- to 2-inch-thick layer of compost across the bed's surface. Lift, toss and turn the soil, and compost by hand or with a garden spade to incorporate the ingredients. If the raised bed's soil drains poorly, add peat moss until it accounts for one-third of the bed's soil.

  2. 2

    Use your hands or a garden spade to roughly grade the surface of the bed's soil. Slightly mound the soil toward the centre of the bed, creating an outward slope that discourages water from puddling at the bed's centre.

  3. 3

    Dig holes for your flower transplants. The holes should be roughly equivalent to the size of the containerised flower's root ball and soil. Placing transplants too deep encourages rot, while shallow holes encourage excessive drying.

  4. 4

    Carefully remove transplants from their pots. Grasp a flower plant at the base of its stem and gently pull it from its container. Alternatively, use a utility knife to cut around the container's bottom perimeter, discard the bottom portion of the container and gently push the transplant out of the container from beneath.

  5. 5

    Place transplants into their holes. Fill gaps with surrounding soil and gently pat the plants to firm the soil into place. Immediately water new plantings.

  6. 6

    Control weeds and encourage moisture retention in a raised bed by applying a 1-inch thick layer of mulch across its surface and around the flowers.

Tips and warnings

  • Grass clippings make excellent mulch, but apply them only to one-quarter-inch thickness, and never use grass clippings that have been treated with herbicides.
  • Drip irrigation offers an inexpensive alternative to hand-watering---common drip fittings allow you to supply water to a drip system with a common garden hose.

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