In previous blogs, I have discussed some of the challenges inherent in growing a successful garden in Austin. If you are looking for a flower garden or simply a border for walkways or around the house or front porch, there may be a simple way to accomplish this.
Texas Wildflowers are perfectly adapted to the soil and climate and do not receive any fertilizer. They are hardy, colorful and the various species grow well together.
Plan your garden to contain the wildflowers in the size, shape, color and texture you feel is best for your purpose. Choose the wildflowers from native species available at the local nursery. Growing plants from seeds is one option, of course, but landscaping needs are more quickly realized when using nursery plants.
Unless the planting area is thick with weeds, you may be better served to not disturb the soil by tilling it. This may actually result in activating weed seeds, rhizomes and roots. Surface weeds can be killed off by watering the weeded area, covering it tightly with plastic sheeting and allowing it to bake in full sunlight for several months before planting.
When selecting plants, pick the ones that look to be healthy, and have good branching structure. Don’t choose ones that are undersized, drooping or have dry roots or soil. Also, transport the flowers straight home from the nursery and put them in the shade until you plant them. The best course of action is to be prepared to plant the flowers immediately after getting them.
Simply dig holes larger than the root balls of the plants. For a natural look, scatter the holes about without placing them in regimented patterns.
Gently loosen the soil from the pots without pulling on the stem and spread the roots very carefully before placing them in the ground. Fill the hole with loose dirt and place down a one inch deep layer of organic mulch around the wildflowers.
Water the plants according to label information but be advised that if the right species is picked for the garden it may not need soil amendment or fertilizer.