There are two types of flоwers: annuals and perennials, so let's consider the first group. Annual flowers differ in that they should be planted annually and replanted every year because they die from stem to root. Perennials hibernate in the offseason but then grow again.
Nature has made self-seeding of annual flowers possible, but it is best to plan and prepare for transplanting them every year from seeds or seedlings.
Some perennials may need to be treated as annuals depending on your growing area.
Level the soil on the seedbed, then make a hole with a rounded stick or hoe handle. Sow the seeds in these holes and cover them with soil or mulch. You should water the seeds carefully not to wash the soil from the seeds.
Add fertilizer to the soil as needed. Use one tо two pounds of 5-10-5 or similar fertilizer per 100 square feet of the bed to add fertilizer. If fertility levels are low, reapply fertilizer during the growing season. Usually, 1/2-1 lb 5-10-5 per 100 square feet is enough every month for up to six weeks.
It would be best to remember that one pound of dry fertilizer equals 2 cups or 96 teaspoons. So use 1-2 cups of dry fertilizer per 100 square feet or about one teaspoon per square foot. Avoid getting dry or concentrated liquid fertilizers on foliage or flowers. After fertilizing plants, abundant watering is essential.
When you notice two true leaves on young seedlings, thin them out by transplanting them to the desired distance or pinch off excess plants. It is necessary to ensure that each plant receives enough light, water, nutrients, and air for proper growth and development.
Most people prefer to buy flowering seedlings rather than growing them themselves. Yes, this way is common, but the choice is more limited than when planting seeds. Most annuals are easy to transplant, so choose vigorous plants with healthy leaves.
When growing seedlings in a greenhouse, harden them off for a week before planting outside. To do this, put the seedlings outside during the day, and bring them inside at night. After several days of such manipulations, you can leave the seedlings outside for the night but protect them if temperatures are zero. When the plants are ready to be planted outdoors, you should remove the seedlings from the trays by cutting the soil between the plants down with a knife. If seedlings are in fiber, plastic, or clay pots, carefully remove each plant and an intact soil block.
For transplanting into peat pots, tear off the lip of the
pot that would otherwise protrude above the soil surface as a protection, or the rim may soak up water from tender seedling roots (wicking). In addition, peat moss is difficult to wet when dry, forming an impenetrable barrier between the roots and the environment.
Poke holes in the pot to allow roots to penetrate. Plant the seedlings in pots at the same depth as they were grown and with the recommended spacing between them. For good root growth, water with a dilute solution of high phosphorus fertilizer. The recommended rate is one tablespoon of high phosphorus fertilizer (10-52-17 or similar analysis) per gallon of water.
Mulching is of great importance in the life of flowers. This continuous action improves the appearance of the flower beds, retains moisture, reduces the spread of weeds, and keeps the soil warm. Straw, wood shavings or chips, ground corncobs, pine needles, and black plastic are suitable for mulching. Sprinkle 2-3 inches of mulch around the plants after the soil has warmed up. Black plаstic mulch will warm the soil and is especially effective for heat-loving plants such as petunias, marigolds, and zinnias.
It may be a pity to pinch off undeveloped buds, but trust me, it will benefit most annuals. This results in аn increase in the number of flowers during the growing season. First, remove the top inch or two from the growing tip, leaving 3 or 4 leaves. Next, check greenhouse-grown seedlings, as the grower often pinches them. Pinching does a lot of good for annuals, allowing them to stay compact and full of flowers throughout the growing season.
It would be best to treat the soil crust early in the season to break up the crust that forms on the surface. Stop cultivating after the plants start to grow actively. To harvest weeds, cut them lightly across the soil's surface instead of pulling them up. It will help prevent damage to the deep roots of your plants, and pulling weeds will usually bring other weed seeds to the surface, thereby re-sowing them. Mulching eliminates the need for cultivation.
Provide plants with regular watering at the rate of 1 inch of water every week. For even better results, use a sprinkler or soaker hose as it can provide enough water in 1-3 hours. The watering rate is considered at least 6-8 inches deep into the soil. Soaker hoses are most effective because they deliver water slowly and directly to the soil, reducing water loss to runoff and evaporation.