People either say you have a green thumb or you don’t! However, I believe with a little work and determination, anybody can have a green thumb. Over the last few years of trial and error, I’ve learned a lot through planting and tending to my front flower beds and backyard garden. I’m happy to share what has worked for me in hopes that it may make your garden even more plentiful this year!
Don’t waste your time buying plants that won’t survive in your zone! Your gardening zone is helpful to know so that you can buy plants that are likely to thrive in your zone. Determine your gardening zone using this map and your zip code. Keep your gardening zone in mind as you plan out your flower beds and gardens!
Patience. If you know me, you know this isn’t an easy one for me!! As soon as we have one day over 70 degrees I’m ready to start planting. Wait until your last frost is done and over with! Otherwise, you may lose some of your plants and flowers, which is the worst! You can head to the Almanac to determine when it may be best to plant your seeds, flowers, and plants. It’s not 100% accurate, but gives you a good idea! Then, your soil/ground has to be warm enough to sustain seeds starting to grow.
It can be tempting to grab all of your gardening supplies at big box stores, including your plants, flowers, trees, etc. However, I’ve learned that you are much better off shopping at local nurseries! Local nurseries typically don’t stock plants and flowers that are unsuitable for your zone. In addition, their plants are less root bound, have been watered appropriately, and their staff is much more knowlegable about their products.
We’ve decided that what works best for us in our garden beds – start your cut flowers from seeds and grow your vegetables from starts that you buy at the local nursery! As much as I love gardening, I am not committed enough to start my vegetable seeds indoors or patient enough to start them from seeds and wait for them to produce vegetables! Lol! In our front flower beds we plant already started plants as well. Except for that time I planted mammoth sunflowers in our front beds… and they were over 12 feet tall!
Make a list of what you have planted in your garden beds, flower beds, and yards. This helps you when you can’t remember how much they should be watered, what kind of fertilizer they like, troubleshooting their growth, and what you want to plant again next year!
Perennials vs annuals: something I feel like I google everytime I am at a nursery! You want to make sure to have a combination of both for your flower beds. Perennials will regrow every spring, and you’ll be so glad you planted them when you see them pop back up each spring! I’m a lazy gardener and I don’t even dig up most of my bulbs, and they come back each year in my zone. Annuals will bloom a little longer, but they will die at the end of the season.
Think about the location when you are planting! What time of day does that area gets sun? It’s important to consider if your plant needs shade, part shade, part sun, or full sun. In Lubbock, I’ve noticed it even makes a different whether or not a full sun plant should get morning sun or evening sun. That evening sun is HOT! This may take some trial and error!
Along with location, you want to plan out where you are planting each seed, plant, flower, etc. You don’t want to overcrowd, even though it is soooo tempting to do so!! Check how large the mature plant gets and space appropriately. When you first plant, it may look bare. I promise it will fill in! And if you don’t believe me… you’re in good company. I always end up over planting!!
If you are building a raised garden bed in your yard, make sure it’s next to a source of water. Dragging a hose across the yard can get OLD! Especially when it’s 100+ degrees outside. If you want, you can invest in a drip system that runs from your hose on a timer!
HAVE FUN! You will have some plants that thrive each year, and some that you just can’t get to grow. Remember to document your garden each year so that next year you have a good starting place!
I think that’s it.. for now! I’d love to hear any of your gardening tips in the comments! Happy planting!