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A nice flowerbed remains one of the most enjoyable ways to add real colour to your garden. What’s more, it’s ideal for relative beginners, offering the chance for real results without too much difficulty. Here are our top tips to cultivate a good flowerbed:
Pick a great spot
As with many types of gardening, choosing the right location is a key part of getting results. This is dependent on the types of flower you want to grow: some will prefer constant sun, others will be happier in the shade. Needless to say, it’s a good idea to choose a range of flowers that all prefer similar growing conditions: as in life, trying to please everyone will usually mean no-one’s happy!
Whatever plants you’ve picked out, it’s essential to give them a good watering before they’re actually planted. Submerge the whole pot, root ball included, in a bucket of water and leave it for a couple of minutes to thoroughly soak through. Once you’ve got everything planted, ensure you water the bed every day, especially during summer. Plants being bedded in require a lot of moisture.
Feed, feed, and feed again
Most compost used for containers and baskets comprise a fairly limited amount of food. As such, it’ll only take four to six weeks for bedding plants to have drained it of nutrients. You’ll need to add a potassium-heavy feed to help boost flower growth. Mixing it into one watering per week should be enough to get good results.
Don't be afraid to deadhead
Picking off old flower heads as soon as they start to fade is an effective way to stop your plants from wasting too much energy on seeds for the buds. There are some varieties – fuschias and scaevola are great examples – that look after themselves, but others will actually need you to cut away any dying heads. Petunias and pelargoniums are good examples of plants requiring more hands-on attention. It’s not too hard, though: all you need to do is either pinch off spent flowers or snip them using a decent pair of scissors.