Does a flower garden need drainage? This is an excellent question, as many people do not realize that a flower garden should have some drainage. Some flower gardens are more than a year around, and in that time their soil may not have dried out nearly as much as it would if you were planting without drainage. The reason is that when you are planting flowers, and especially if you have a garden of any kind, they need to be watered.
Yes, flower gardens also do require some drainage. Whether you’re using a regular potting compost or a water retention system, watering should always be done at least once a week during active growing. The plants will greatly appreciate it, though. Just be certain you do not over water because this can kill the roots.
Flowering plants are not the only things that benefit from proper drainage. Vegetable and fruit trees that are planted in containers need to have the same consideration. If you are growing flowers or other plants in containers, the soil could become saturated and become very soft. This makes it difficult for the roots to absorb enough water from the soil for them to grow healthy. So, just like with container gardening, you’ll want to make sure the pots are well drained before putting any vegetation in them.
Another plant group that should have its own set of roots and drainage is shrubs and annuals. Annuals require moist soil and regular watering, but the shrubs and some perennials do not. A shrub or a plant that is not in season all year long, like a fern or a pool cue, is another one that doesn’t need to have its roots penetrated. You can place these types of plants on a trellis or hang them upside down in baskets.
If you have plants that you frequently water, they may need to have their own pots. If you are growing flowers in pots, make sure there is still plenty of room to soak up water before putting them in the ground. A good rule of thumb is to have an inch of room for every three feet of pot or container. Also, you should make certain you never put more than an inch of water in a flower pot.
If you are planting shrubs and other plants that are planted to grow low, you need to consider how deep they can grow. Some shrubs and even some annuals can grow to be four feet or more in height. Some even exceed ten feet! For this reason, it’s important to plan where you want your shrubs and other plants to go in advance. You don’t want them planted in areas where they will get stuck in the ground.
Many people avoid planting flowers in the same group of plants next to each other because they believe doing so will cause them all to spread out and take up excessive amounts of space. However, most perennials and biennials can thrive when planted together, provided certain conditions are met. When planting perennials together, you should use pots that are similar in size and shape.
Perennials such as shrubs and biennials can also benefit from deeper planting. This is especially true for larger plants that take up more vertical space in the garden. Just remember that in order to provide for deeper planting, you’ll need to have adequate drainage holes. The easiest way to create drainage holes is by digging around the base of your plant just slightly bigger than it. Then fill with soil.
In addition to the benefits of deeper planting, water flowers also benefit from allowing more direct sunlight into their root system. This allows the roots to grow at a faster rate and healthier because they get more of the day’s energy directly coming from the sun. On extremely clay soils, the roots can sometimes get so wet that they can rot.
Another option for shallow plantings is to lay sod or potting soil directly on the earth. Most gardeners find this to be a very unpleasant experience. First, the area becomes wet and sloppy. Second, it does not allow much runoff into the garden. Third, and probably the worst, is that the area around the plant is often contaminated with potable water waste, making the plant unsightly and potentially harmful to your family. Sloping areas can also be a problem in that they provide easy access for soil molds and insects to get into the flowerbeds.
For most types of flowers, you will need to alternate deep or full sun throughout the day with partial or shaded shade throughout the evening. Be sure to check the blooms of your favorite perennials to see if they are getting enough sunshine. Many perennials do exceptionally well in areas where there is limited or no morning sun. If you have a lot of shaded areas in your yard, you can consider planting other types of flowering plants to provide daytime blooms.