Gardening 101 - Site Preparation for Perennials
Perennial plants generally have a life span of two to three years and if maintained properly they can add to the beauty of your garden for years to come. There are some pre- requisites for long lasting perennial plants in the garden. Selecting the location and preparing soil are very crucial for the growth and development of the plants.
Some of the important things to keep in mind while preparing the site for perennial plants are—
Selecting the Site for Plants
—Location plays a major role and if the right plants are grown in favorable location then they will flourish and look strikingly beautiful. The key to a perfect location depends on the plant varieties you are planning to grow. So, if you are planning to grow shade tolerant plants then shady areas in the garden are best suited for them. Flowering plants generally need full sun so they should be planted in such a location that receives full sunlight throughout the day. The soil should be well- drained as the perennial plants grow well in such conditions.
Analyzing the Soil Quality
—Soil quality can be tested in a laboratory and this can help in highlighting any possible nutrient deficiencies. The soil quality can be improved by adding compost and organic matter. Good quality soil will ensure healthy and thriving plants. Fertilizers can be used in the garden beds to further enhance the soil quality. Perennials prefer neutral to slightly acidic soil. The pH level of the soil can be improved by adding lime. Pelletized lime or lime juice can be added to the soil to raise the pH level and lower the acidity.
Getting Rid of Perennial Weeds
—It is important to get rid of the perennial weeds from the flower beds as they tend to re- appear every year. You would not want the plant growth to get hampered by nasty weeds as they compete with your plants for essential nutrients. Cultivate or plough the area and apply herbicides so that the weeds are killed. It is advisable not to plant anything in the flower beds for atleast two weeks after the application of herbicides. A second application of herbicides might be required if the weeds re- grow. Once all the weeds have been destroyed, you can start growing the plants of your choice. It is recommended to use mulch in the flower beds to avoid the growth of unwanted weeds in the future. Mulching can be quite effective in reducing the weed growth.
These are basic tips for preparing the site for perennial plants. With proper care, maintenance and right kind of plants you can transform your garden completely.