Spring has sprung and you’re eager to create some natural beauty outside your new Florida home. There’s nothing like making your landscape bloom with exuberant color and textures, especially if you’re an experienced gardener or want to be one. Plus, it’s a legitimate way to play in the dirt! Here’s a quick primer on how to choose and use your favorite flowers and foliage.
Start With a Clean Slate
Clear your flower beds, planters and window boxes of dead plants and tired mulch. Clean, vacant space allows you to determine a game plan — what to plant where, and how much of it — while setting the table for fresh fertilizer, so your new plants can better absorb that nutrient boost.
Mix Annuals and Perennials in Your Garden
Annuals are plants that bloom and thrive for one growing season. Perennials come back year after year. Annuals generally are less expansive and give you instant bloom for your instant buck. Perennials generally cost a bit more and take a bit longer to bloom, but make up for it by reappearing every year for free! Using some of both varieties gives your gardening scheme a longer, fuller, more continuous blooming period.
Choose Fun, Festive Colors in Your Garden
Love brilliant purple bougainvillea? Give it a place of honor. It’s hardy, pest-and-disease resistant and a friendly perennial. Choose bright, complimentary companions such as lavender and pink petunias (annuals), silvery dusty miller (annual foliage) and lime-green sweet potato vine (annual foliage). Be brave with your color scheme!
Plant in Mulched Beds
Heard the expression, “Just do it?” Substitute, “Just mulch it.” Spreading mulch in your planting areas — a two-inch thickness does the trick — fights weeds and preserves ground moisture. Shredded pine bark, cypress mulch or pine straw are common mulch options.
Plant Some Outdoor Furniture
If you have a patio or pool deck, consider surrounding your lounge chairs with containers filled with colorful flowers. Another possibility is surrounding an outdoor seating area with flower beds. Weather-hardy furniture + attractive blooms = a beautiful outdoor living space.
Try a Kitchen Garden
Tending a small vegetable or herb garden is another way to indulge your spring-gardening creativity. Plant your household’s favorite variety of tomatoes in terra cotta pots. Grow your own peppers for warm-weather salads. Snipping fresh basil from the plot outside your back door could convince you to dump the dried stuff!
Put Everyone to Work
Make your spring gardening project a family affair. Adults can do the heavy lifting of potting soil and moving wheelbarrows. Smaller children can help plant seeds or seedlings from a local nursery. There’s a fun role for everyone.
Fresh plantings need regular drinks to get off to a growing start. Once they’re mature, Florida showers and thunderstorms do the watering for you. But, regardless of whether you’re still employing the watering can or automatic sprinklers, don’t drown your plants. They don’t like wet feet, either. Approximately three-quarters to an inch of water per week will do the trick.
Ready to find your new Florida home and garden? ICI Homes can help. Begin here.