Don’t be intimidated by the thought of perennial gardening. The secret to easy, successful perennial gardening is thorough preparation of your site and the proper selection of plants. Perennial gardening, as with any type of gardening, also requires careful planning and forethought and in order to accomplish this task; try sketching out your ideas on paper first.
After you develop a perennial gardening scheme, examine the landscape carefully to find the most ideal location for your perennial bed. Always consider factors such as light (sun or shade) and soil (wet or dry/fertile or poor) when you are choosing a site. Once the location has been established, you can begin working the soil.
Generally, the best time to prepare your perennial beds is in the fall when the soil is more manageable. It is important that the soil be easy to work with and rich in organic content. To achieve this, amend the soil with compost. Using newspaper beneath the topsoil can work wonders as well. Building up the soil into raised beds is another efficient way to achieve success with perennial gardening.
Choosing and Caring for Perennial Plants
Planting usually takes place in the spring, giving you the entire winter season to further plan out your beds and select plants. Becoming familiar with plants that are suitable to your particular area is another important element of perennial gardening.
Plants should not only thrive well in your landscape but complement it as well. It also helps to choose perennials that suit your overall purpose or gardening scheme. Choosing the right plants will also result in less maintenance other than its basic care.
Year-round perennial gardening can be achieved using seasonal perennial plants that hold interest from spring through winter. For instance, plant spring-blooming perennials throughout the garden and allow summer-flowering plants to take over once their blooms fade away.
Interplanting with ever-lasting perennials will also guarantee a succession of blooms. While the flowers in perennial gardening make the beds come alive with color during spring and summer, it’s the foliage that holds fall and winter appeal by creating contrast and texture. With the addition of fall-flowering perennials, various foliage plants and ornamental grasses, the autumn season can capture nature at its best; winter can take its place with interesting seed heads, evergreens, and groundcovers.
Basic care of perennial gardening plants typically includes the cutting plants back and deadheading them. Deadheading is simply the removal of faded blooms to encourage re-blooming or discourage the development of seed pods. Cutting back plants encourages fuller and more vigorous growth.
Watering is also an integral part of perennial gardening and is dependent on your particular climate, soil conditions, and types of plants. A soaker hose is a good choice in achieving thorough watering with less waste. Finally, to eliminate weeds and retain moisture you should always apply a suitable layer of mulch.
Obtaining Quality Perennial Plants
Nothing about perennial gardening is really difficult and finding suitable perennials for your garden isn’t hard either. In fact, perennials are widely available just about anywhere. Your best bet, however, would be to stick to retailers or other individuals that know about or specialize in perennial gardening plants.
For instance, plants that come from garden centers, plant nurseries, or mail-order catalogs are usually of better quality and will normally have someone knowledgeable on staff to assist you. Of course, family, friends, and neighbors can also be a good source for quality plants as well.
When it comes to perennial gardening, combining foliage plants with those of different flowering seasons will ensure that there is always something in bloom or at least something of interest. And as long as you have suitable soil and keep the plants you choose within the natural scheme of your landscape, you can enjoy the bounties of easy perennial gardening with every passing year.