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Home improvement

9 ideas for making ready a wonderful flower mattress

Dust off your vases, jugs and cups – your home will be crowded with freshly cut flowers in no time.

Have you ever received a bed of dead flowers, mulch mountains and a rich receipt for a garden center? Let's do something about it, shall we?

Get your garden groove back with these nine tips.

1. Start with a clean board

There are two types of flower beds: the well-prepared ones and the weed-covered ones.

Give your bed that is not planted the one-off. Does it get enough sunlight? Does water collect there? Have you removed all weeds, roots and stones so that your plants can thrive? It is now much easier to fix these problems than if you planted the flowers and laid the mulch.

2. Start the seeds

Start a flower bed of seeds to save money, grow unusual strains, and enjoy the satisfaction of growing an entire garden from a handful of tiny seeds.

Since some seeds transplant poorly, check the package and make sure you don't have to sow directly into the soil. Start the seeds in bowls, pots, or coconut pots with a seedling mix, place them in a sunny place, and transplant them once stable stems have developed.

3. Prepare nursery plants

Bedding plants grown in kindergarten give you instant gratification, but the short time between purchase and planting is critical to their survival.

Pack them tightly in your car to avoid damage and take them home immediately so they don't fry in your car at other errands.

Water nursery plants as soon as you get home, as often afterwards and a few hours before planting, so that their fragile roots survive the trauma of the transplant.

4. Get the decisive advantage

Even the most carefully planned border can look sloppy without a clearly defined edge. Avoid these cheap and quickly deteriorating plastic edges and choose a more natural and durable alternative.

The cheapest solution is to use your spade to dig a shallow trench around the bed and maintain it throughout the season. For something more sophisticated and durable, put an edge of brick, concrete or stone in flat sand. The initial cost may be higher, but it will save you a lot of work and make mowing easier.

5. Plan for the seasons

Choose annual plants if you want to replace them in one or two seasons, and plant perennials if you want them to last longer. Plant evergreen shrubs or ornamental grasses to create structure and year-round interest.

Also take into account the possible height of the plant. Plant low-growing flowers (usually annuals) at the front of the bed, where you can easily see them and replace them at the end of their season.

6. Give them space

Follow the guidelines on the seed pack or plant label as closely as possible. An often overlooked factor is the space that remains around each plant so that it has room to grow. To cover a lot of ground quickly, choose different varieties such as superbells and climbing nasturtiums.

7. Dig the perfect hole

Dig the hole in each plant so that it is twice as wide as the original pot so that the roots have plenty of room to grow. To give them an even better head start, make a small trench around the inside of the hole so that the roots spread down and out.

This step is not necessary for one-year-olds, as they are not available long enough to enjoy their strong root systems. However, it is helpful if you have clay soil.

8. Plant it properly

Always place grafts and nursery plants so that their crowns (where the plant hits the ground) are level with the ground in the bed. If the crown is above the ground, the plant can dry out if the ground is washed off the roots. If planted too low, the soil will settle around the crown and rot the plant.

Slide the soil around the graft and press it firmly with a trowel so that there are no gaps between the roots.

9.Mulch carefully

Mulch is important to save moisture and prevent weeds, but an inch is all you need. Established garden beds don't even need mulch, since the plants themselves can protect the soil.

Avoid landscaping fabrics as they actually prevent moisture from entering the soil. Instead, drop newspaper sheets before mulching.

Mulching varies by region, but depending on the type you use, follow this one rule: never stack them against the plants. You will rot in no time and you will soon have nothing more than an ugly mulch bed in its place.

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Originally published in April 2016.

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