Choosing What to Plant

April 30, 2018

Spring is here, and we've put together this guide to help you get the most out of your flower beds this year:

 

What are the light conditions? Different plant varieties have different needs when it comes to the sun, and making sure you're putting your plants where they'll do well is an important consideration. Observe the sun and shade patterns in your flower beds or planting areas for a day and watch how it changes as the sun moves across the sky. Knowing which areas get direct sunlight all day vs. only for a few hours will give you a good place to start. A good rule of thumb: 

 

  • Full sun: 6+ hours of direct sunlight daily 

  • Partial shade: 3-6 hours of sun daily 

  • Shade: less than 3 hours of sun a day 

 

What is the plant's mature size? Will it fit where you're planting it when it's fully grown? Make sure that you're aware of the size (both height and width!) your plant will be before you plant it to save yourself a hassle down the road. In addition, you can use this information to create visual interest in your flower beds by planting things with varying heights and sizes. 

 

When should you plant? For spring planting, you generally want to wait until after the last frost. Here in the Dayton, Ohio area, that can get tricky to predict with a certainty thanks our Midwest weather, so err on the side of caution. A notable exception to this is spring bulbs (like tulips, daffodils, or hyacinths), which need to be planted in the fall. 

 

What is the flowering season? Be aware of when your plants will be in bloom. Some bloom in spring, others early summer, others late summer/early fall, etc. By staggering the flowering seasons of your plants, your beds will have a variety of color throughout the season. 

 

Annual or Perennial? Annual flowers are only in bloom for one season, while perennials come back year after year. 

 

What about native plants? Native plants are well-suited to local growing conditions, so they require less work to maintain. You can read more about native plants here. 

 

We hope this guide helps you this season- happy planting! 

 

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