First I want to say I am NOT a great gardener - but I do like my yard to look nice. So this is not the "professional" way of cleaning out a garden or planting I'm sure - but it works for us. :)
The weather has been so nice lately I couldn't wait to get out and clean up the winter yard. We made a flower bed in our front yard last Spring and the plants had died and were just hideous. So this morning I went to the store and bought my 2 and 3 year old their first bikes so they could play while I did some yard work! :) They had a blast - but mind you the bikes did not keep them satisfied all day. I had little "helpers", lol. Well actually my 3 year old played with the neighbor and her bike most of the time but my 2 year old just wanted to "dig" lol.
Okay so getting on to the How - To:
First thing I did was pull out all the dead plants. Then we pulled up the weed fabric from last year and pulled any weeds/grass that was still living under it. Next my husband shoveled the old beauty bark out and then we laid the new weed fabric. We just bought one roll from Lowe's and had plenty for our smaller size project. You can leave out the weed fabric but I would DEFINITELY not recommend it. Have you seen those homes in your neighborhood that plant flowers and everything looks so nice - for about a month - then it looks like an abandoned home overgrown with weeds!!?? Okay maybe that's a slight exaggeration - but my point is you don't want to do all the work to only have weeds overtake your garden. Spend the extra time to lay the fabric.
If you have any plants or trees already planted you'll cut a hole or slit out of the fabric and lay it as close to the plant as you can get without suffocating it. If you haven't planted anything yet I suggest laying the fabric first and then planting your flowers.
Next you'll lay out where you want your flowers to go like so -
Then you'll cut holes from the fabric and plant your plants. Once you've planted everything throw some bark or mulch of your choice over the fabric around the plants.
Next make sure you fertilize the plants since you've just planted them they'll be in shock for awhile. The fertilizer will really help them along their pretty little way. ;) Once you've fertilized give the whole garden a good soak and let them sit. :)
For garden maintenance you'll need to weed about once a week or once bi weekly depending on how many weeds you get in your area. The fabric sheet will definitely help - but you'll still get some pesky ones.
Good water times are at night BEFORE the sun goes down but when it's not so hot. Like evening time. You don't want to water in the heat of the day because you'll fry the flowers and leaves - but you also don't want to water AT NIGHT when the sun is almost down or is down because your plants will stay too wet and mold. (This is my rule of thumb - you may read somewhere else a better way of doing this from a professional. Again - we are NOT professionals we just do what works for us.)
|Once these plants grow the dead space will be minimal and the garden will be full and bright.|
Yard work isn't all fun and games - but it sure does make you feel good after a long day of working outside to sit back and enjoy your hard work!! Have fun and enjoy the sun - if you're lucky enough to have some yet! :P