5 Easy Perennial Plants That Add Value to Your Home
We homeowners invest a lot of money in our homes. We update, renovate, and make repairs. No sooner have we spent the money, though, and the work depreciates over time. Take painting. Give the downstairs a fresh coat of paint, and before you know it there are dings and scratches and fingerprints. New faucet on your kitchen sink? A few years later it’s going to look a little worse for the wear. What was once a new bathroom now needs an overhaul. A perennial garden, on the other hand, adds value over time. Once you frontload the work of planting and helping the plants get established, healthy perennials will look better and better each year. Your investment of time and money can really pay off in curb appeal. What are Perennial Plants? Perennial plants are ornamental or flowering plants that come back year after year. Once you get them in the ground and the roots take hold, they are fairly easy to maintain. Perennials each have a particular time of the year when they blossom. Some are early bloomers, such as daffodils and tulips. Others, like butterfly bush or bee balm, bloom later in the season. If you plan it right, you can have something new blooming every week or two. You can find perennial plants for any kind of growing condition---full sun, shade, rocky soil, lots of rain, etc. Why Perennial Plants? Perennial plants are like putting money in the bank. Leave them be and you’ll see the interest growing---literally. Many perennial plants will double in size every couple of years. Which means you can have very full, lush beds or you can ‘split’ them. BONUS TIP: To split a perennial, dig out the whole plant and put it on a flat surface. Use a planting spade to make a clean cut from the top of the soil to the bottom. Replant part of the plant in its original spot. Use the other parts to fill in other beds or create a new bed. When people think of summer blooms, they often think of tried-and-true annual plants. Flowers like geraniums, petunias, and impatiens are great for having blooms all season. But those are annuals, and annuals don’t come back the next year. Annual flowers can also be fussy, requiring careful watering nearly every day. If you ignore them for a few days in a row in the middle of the summer, you may lose them. Perennials, on the other hands, can often take a beating and survive just fine. How to Plant Perennials Want to plant perennials, save a ton of time, and stave off an aching back? Take advantage of the new trend in home gardening---no-till gardening. Gardeners, farmers, and scientists agree that it’s not necessary to till (turn over) inches of soil to plant a garden. In fact, it’s better for your plants if you don’t disturb the soil. When soil gets turned, the networks of living creatures in the soil get broken up. Those networks help plants access nutrients and give the soil structure. So how do you start a garden without turning over a new bed?
- First, spread a dark-colored tarp over the area you want to plant. Leave it alone for 4-8 weeks. You’re trying to kill whatever is currently growing there---most likely grass and weeds.
- When it looks like the living matter has given up the ghost, remove the tarp. Rake out the old grass and weeds.
- Add compost, composted manure, or the soil of your choice and fertilizer.
- Mold the soil into the shape you want. Keep the middle of the bed higher than the edges.
- If your plants have deeps roots already, you can rough up the first couple of inches of soil with a hoe to give them a little more wiggle room.
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