A Step-by-Step Guide to Preparing Your Flower Beds for Spring

Spring! It’s worth celebrating here in Idaho. Send yourself some flowers!

Better yet, grow some yourself — then, if you plan things right, you can enjoy them well into fall. 

It all starts with preparing your flower beds for spring.

Hmm. It looks kind of gross out there. Where to begin? 

How to prepare flower beds for spring?

Don’t give up and call the florist. Check out these tips:

1. First, Get Rid of the Gunk

Winter leaves a real mess behind, and your flower beds need cleaning up before anything else happens out there. 

Slimy leaves. Old weeds. Dead flowers. Ratty mulch.

Gross. Clean it all out for a fresh new start.

2. Boost the Soil

If your planting bed has been there a while, there probably aren’t many good nutrients left in that aging soil. 

hands holding soil

So give it a boost as part of preparing flower beds for spring. Till in some rich compost with the topsoil and add some granular fertilizer so it’s ready to help your plants thrive.

3. Sorry, Weeds — Bye

Pre-emergent herbicide will help prevent pesky spring weeds from sprouting. 

flowers in landscape bed near entrance of home

Pre-emergent has to be applied early in the season when soil temperatures are still below 50 degrees. If you’re tackling your beds after that, never mind this step. But put it on your calendar for next year.

4.  Time for Weed Barrier Fabric

If you’ll be planting perennials in your bed, you’ll want to put down a fabric weed barrier to prepare your flower garden for spring.

Not plastic. We repeat, not plastic. 
Save sheets of plastic for covering your leftover lasagna. Water can’t get through it to your thirsty plants.
Your planting beds deserve the good stuff — 20-year weed barrier fabric. 

garden bed with flowers and tree

The fabric goes down right on top of your topsoil. 
But never mind this step if you’re planting annuals. You’ll be digging up annual beds a lot, so the fabric is too much of a hassle. 

Overlap the edges 4-5 inches to discourage weeds from growing in between.

Then cut an X where each plant will tuck through.
“Staple” the fabric every few feet with big landscape staples you push in with your fingers.

5. Woo Hoo, Time for the Plants!

Now that you’re done preparing flower beds for spring, here’s the fun part: the flowers!

A great planting bed includes a variety of plants — shrubs, perennials, and annuals.

plantings in landscape bed

Tuck your pretty new plants into each X you sliced into your weed barrier fabric.

A few pro tips:

Proper Spacing, Please

Keep in mind the size of the plants at maturity, not now. You have to leave room for when the plants get bigger. 

We know, it’s tempting to pack them in close, but if you do, you’ll just have to remove some later when they’ve grown too close together and can’t breathe. 

The tags on your plants will recommend proper spacing as you’re preparing your flower beds for spring. No cheating. Trust us.

Choose Plants That Bloom Throughout the Season

You want a colorful display for several months, not just a few weeks. The plant tags will help you choose plants with staggered bloom times.

Group Plants with Similar Needs

Don’t mix plants with different light and water needs. You don’t want a shade-loving plant next to a sun-loving plant. One of them will suffer.  Cluster drought-tolerant plants together so they can share the same watering needs.

5. Mulch: A Key Step in Preparing Flower Beds for Spring

Now the finishing touch: top it all off with 3-4 inches of bark mulch. 

mulch in landscape beds with plantings

Why? So many reasons:

  • Bark mulch conserves water, by holding in your soil’s moisture so you need less irrigation.
  • It protects your plants’ roots from extremes in temperature, which we definitely get here in Idaho, keeping them cozy in cold weather and cool in summer’s heat.
  • As it decomposes over time, bark mulch adds nutrients to your soil.
  • Mulch is a weed warrior, keeping everything dark so the weed seeds can’t sprout.
  • Finally, fresh mulch looks amazing.

Remember, mulch isn’t a one-time thing. Plan to replace it each year as you prepare your flower beds for spring to keep your beds looking great.

6. Watering Tips

Once your flowers are planted, they’ll need a good drink. (You might need one, too — this is a lot of work.)

Water the soil, not the plant leaves. Wet foliage encourages fungus and other diseases. 

sprinkler head waters flowers

Here’s a thought: drip irrigation. It’s great for flower beds, dripping water slowly from holes in tubing installed below ground or on the soil surface.

Instead of spraying large areas like sprinklers, drip irrigation systems provide water to specific areas on your landscape, so you can target the soil and roots, not the foliage.

7. Feeding Time!

As you’re preparing your flower garden for spring, don’t forget to start your pretty plants off  with a good first feeding. 

Then, stay on top of fertilizer throughout the growing season. But don’t go crazy. More isn’t better. 

You can actually burn plants if you use too much fertilizer. Follow the manufacturer’s directions.

8. Did You Know There’s Help for All of This? What??

Not every landscape maintenance company in Idaho Falls offers fine gardening services, but Outback Landscape does. 

Outback Landscape’s fine gardeners will deliver and plant your displays of annual flowers, then painstakingly care for them all season long.

Crews will visit to apply pre-emergent, the first line of defense against spring weeds. 

plantings in front of home

Then fine gardening crews will visit weekly to tackle any weeds that popped up, either with spray or by hand. 

Many varieties of annuals need deadheading — removing spent flower blossoms to make way for bright new ones. Our fine gardening crews handle that task, too.

Annual flowers have big appetites — they need regular fertilizing to grow big and vibrant. Fine gardening keeps them nourished.

How to Prepare Flower Beds for Spring? Trust Outback

Spring is a big deal in Idaho, worth celebrating with a bounty of flowers. 

Landscape maintenance in Idaho Falls includes preparing for the celebration, but it’s a lot of hard work. 

Go easy on yourself and let the pros at Outback Landscape do the hard part.

You just relax and enjoy the pretty flowers and plants. 

We serve residential and commercial properties in Idaho Falls, Rexburg and Pocatello, Idaho, as well as Bonneville, Madison and Bannock counties.

Call us at 208-656-3220. Or fill out the contact form to schedule a no-obligation meeting with one of our team members.

We can’t wait to hear from you.

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