Happy Friday, everyone! For today’s Finish It Friday, I thought I’d show you what I’ve been working on this week: the front yard. After the pictures, I’ll share my tips for weeding and planting a garden bed like this.
Because we’ve had a ton of rain here in Georgia, the weeds were overtaking the bed:
The first step was to clear the weeds. Once that was done, I watered and applied a layer of pine bark nugget mulch. Then I watered again. Watering before and after mulching provides plenty of moisture for the plants.
I added some marigolds to the border of the bed. I think they look like marquee lights around the edge of a bed.
The whole transformation took two days, and included weeding the bed; pruning the Indian Hawthornes (just a bit underneath); planting marigolds, and mulching.
So, what are my tips for creating a bed like this?
1. First, do the ground work.
The first step is to rid the bed of anything you don’t want in it: dead or dying plants, old mulch, dried leaves, and weeds. You can do this by hand or with a rake or pick. Do this completely the first time or else you will spend the summer pulling up weeds that kept growing when you left them behind.
2. When weeding, make sure you get the root of the weed.
If you just use a trimmer or just pull the leaves of the weed, you are leaving the root behind and the weed will grow back. Make sure you get the roots out so that it’s gone for good.
Avoid chemicals for killing weeds. They are bad for other plants, bad for the environment, and may contribute to the killing of honey bees.
3. Water, mulch, water again.
In these hot summer months, watering plants deeply is the key to keeping them alive. Thus, once the bed is clear of weeds and debris, I water the plants. Then I lay the mulch and then I water again. This ensures plenty of water for the plants and the mulch will help keep that moisture in the soil.
4. Water in the right spot.
Do not water the leaves of the plant. This could result in the leaves being burned in the sun. Instead, water at the root or base of the plant. Make sure the soil around the plant is moist – that’s where the plant is going to pull the water into its roots.
5. Size matters.
When planting new plants in a garden bed like this, consider the size of each plant. Start in the back with the taller plants, then move forward with progressively shorter plants. Keep in mind their final, grown size as a measure for this.
I also consider the textures and colors of plants when planting a bed. I like a mix of colors and textures. In the bed here:
you can see I have the height of the arbor vitae and the hydrangea, the reddish-purple color of the loropetalum, the red and green in the nandina, and the yellow of the marigolds. And each plant’s leaves are a different texture and shape. That provides interest and variety in a garden bed.
6. Take care of you, too.
While you are doing all this yardwork, make sure you are taking steps to protect yourself as well. It’s hot out there! Wear sunscreen and bug repellent. Also, I wear long sleeves and long pants, even on the hottest of days, to protect against bug bites and also poison ivy.
Drink TONS of water. Take cover in shade once an hour to give yourself a break. If you start to feel dizzy or lightheaded, stop immediately and get inside where it is cool. You can’t have a pretty yard if you don’t take care of yourself first!
How does your garden grow? I’d love to hear what’s planted in your home garden and beds.
Thanks for stopping by!