Maintaining a garden requires dedication and a plan. This doesn’t mean you have to spend hours cultivating soil or anxiously stay up all night waiting for seedlings to blossom. Instead, you’ll want to take an efficient approach to your garden maintenance. This will allow you to have a flourishing flower bed without the hassle. Whether you are returning to a flower bed that you grew last season or are starting fresh, you’ll want to activate these helpful tips:

Get Your Soil Prepped

Successful gardening really comes down to the quality of the soil. Without nutrient-rich dirt, there won’t be a lot that has a chance to grow. Starting a fresh garden will require a certain amount of soil prep. That begins with turning that soil over. This might be the most labor-intensive aspect of your landscaping but the effort you apply with your soil prep can last you through the season.

Once the soil has been turned over, it is time to “feed it.” There are many soil testing kits available that can show you just what is lacking in your soil. Armed with that information, you can make the decision of which nutrients to add through the use of topsoil mixtures or fertilizer. Keep in mind that this soil feeding should happen a few weeks before you start planting. You want to give the soil the chance to acclimate.

Draw Up a Garden Design

While you’re waiting for the soil to “cook,” you can start thinking about what kind of flowers you’d like to grow. California has the kind of weather that plants love. The following is a list of flowers that flourish in SoCal:

• Lilacs
• Poppies
• Salvia
• Morning Glory
• Penstemon
• Wildflowers
• Rose Buckwheat
• Daisies

The choice now becomes do you want to grow these plants from seeds, seedlings or have them already blooming? Growing plants from homegrown seeds will certainly provide you with a sense of accomplishment but blooming plants are much more low maintenance.

You can draft a “floorplan” for your flowerbeds to visualize how your garden décor will come in. You can also adopt a wild approach by mixing and matching the flowers. That works especially great with patches of wildflowers.

Be Consistent with Watering

Watering is where you have to be the most diligent and consistent. For flowering beds to thrive, they need to be kept moist without being over saturated. One to two times a week should be enough to accomplish that moisture goal. Timing is also crucial when it comes to watering. You should aim for early in the morning or later in the evening after the sun has set. When water goes into cool soil, there is less of a chance of evaporation.

If you plan on going on vacation, then you might want to ask for help to keep your flowers watered. Of course, having an irrigation system installed will ensure that you will always be on schedule.

Tackle Weeds Head On

Weeds are the enemy of every gardener. It might seem like you’re fighting a never-ending battle with those weeds. Every time you pluck one, another pops up the next day. Can you blame them? After all, you’ve created a wonderful environment with rich soil and plenty of water.

The best way to keep weeds out of your flower beds is to stop them from growing in the first place. That can be taken care of by cultivating healthy plants and growing a dense garden. Don’t give those weeds any “elbow room.”

Another good way to keep the weeds at bay is with mulch. Spreading a layer of mulch around your flower beds not only looks great but it helps maintain the moisture content of the soil.

Watch Out for Pests

Your flowers are going to attract a lot of visitors. Some of these visitors will be welcomed while others will just be classified as pests. Not all flying and crawling bugs are going to destroy your plants. There could be a lot that are combating other pests. There is also the whole issue of pollination to count on. Yes, bees should always be welcomed!

If pests start to become a problem, then there are many homemade remedies you can try that won’t be loaded with chemicals or harm the plants.

Edit When Necessary

As your garden grows, you might find that you’re experiencing too much of a good thing. That is time to step in and do some flower editing. You can transplant some of those flowers to other areas of the yard or put them into a pot for a gift. You don’t ever want to have the sense that your flowers are crowding each other out.

Finally, when all the work is done, you’ll be able to sit back and enjoy your efforts. Just be sure to take plenty of pictures to show off to everyone. Happy gardening!