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Bed Preparation

By: YC

Posted on: June 10, 02

The time spent preparing the planting bed is important if you are to be successful with annual flowers. Flower beds should be spaded or tilled at least six inches deep several weeks before planting. Florida's sandy soils have very low capacities for holding nutrients and water. Incorporation of 2 to 3 inches of organic matter into planting beds will increase the nutrient and water retention of these soils. Organic materials such as leaf mold or peat should be thoroughly mixed into the soil.

Garden soils, especially in recently developed areas, are frequently infertile. Flower beds should be fertilized prior to planting or at planting time and repeated on a monthly basis. Apply 6-6-6 or a similar complete fertilizer at the rate of 2 pounds per 100 square feet of bed area. Controlled release fertilizers are ideal for Florida's sandy soils. Plants usually grow much better with a continuous nutrient supply and labor is reduced since controlled release fertilizer application frequency is less than for rapid release fertilizers. Controlled release fertilizers can be incorporated uniformly throughout the soil before planting and applied on the soil surface of established plantings.

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