At Fair Oaks Farms, we’re lucky enough to have experienced and practiced farmers that know just how to grow beautiful flowers, plants, crops, and vegetables. If you have ever visited our garden in the middle of the campus, you’ve probably seen daisies of every color, bountiful cotton plants, rows of feed for our animals, and even a corn maze around Cowtoberfest time! But not everyone is a farmer, and for those people beginning and maintaining a garden can be hard work. We’ve compiled some of the most essential tips for starting your flower garden this spring. Stay tuned for tips on growing a beautiful vegetable garden in the coming weeks!

  1. Sun is vital! Flowers get their energy from the sun, using the process called photosynthesis. Some flowers even change the way they grow to gain more sunlight. To make it easy on your flowers and plants, place them somewhere where they’ll get an ample amount of sun throughout the spring and summer. There are several “sun calculators” on the Internet to help you place your garden in a place for optimal sun, but if you can’t access one of those, plot your garden in an area that will get 6 to 8 hours a day of full sunlight.
  2. It’s all in the soil! Sunlight is how flowers and plants get energy, but the soil is where they grow their roots. Before you plant your flowers, make sure you till the soil in your garden. It’s also important to know what the pH level of your garden area is, so you can tell if your plants have a chance at a healthy life. Many garden stores have pH monitors or soil tests to help you in your gardening; we suggest to invest in one of these. Your soil needs to be able to soak and drain water as well.
  3. Know your flowers. It’s incredibly important to know what you’re planting. Picking out the correct flowers can be a complicated process, so it’s important to read all labels and materials and do your research. Flowers typically fall into two groups — annuals and perennials. Annuals bloom only once and must be replanted every year. However, perennials’ root systems stay alive underground even in winter, so these plants do not need to be replanted every spring. It might seem the perennials are low maintenance, but they can sometimes take a year or more to bloom! They do take less maintenance than annuals (as you don’t need to replant every single spring) but they are by no means a plant-it-and-forget-it option.
  4. Make a plan and stick to it. I’m sure you’ve seen beautifully luscious flower gardens, overflowing with colorful petals and leaves at every inch. It isn’t easy to have a beautiful flower garden. Flowers and plants require routine maintenance, watering, and fertilizing. If you commit to planting a flower garden, you must take it seriously and nurture it. Plot your garden to make sure your plants have enough room to grow, create a watering and fertilization schedule based on your research, and write it all down, so you don’t forget. A flower garden is a hands-on experience, and you’ll have to put in hard work and time if you want a picturesque garden!
  5. Start early. It might be late in the season to get this tip into action, but now you’ll know for future years! Many gardeners begin growing their seedlings inside during the colder months, so when the warmer weather comes around, they can be transferred into the prepared garden. Some plants take up to several weeks, to a year for perennials, to bloom, so starting them inside can cut away some of that time. You can buy already blooming plants at a greenhouse, but these plants might have a hard time growing accustomed to a new environment. It’s almost better to start your own seedlings to acclimate them to your soil and sunlight.

If you have any of your own tips and tricks, leave a comment below!