Prepare A Flower Bed For Spring Planting

Recently, I shared some pics of an area around my mailbox that’s badly in need of some attention. This area used to have liriope planted here until I had the whole front yard sodded last summer. All the liriope was dug up at that time to reshape the bed. I never got around to planting anything back and with spring here, I’m itching to make it pretty for summer.

Landscape Around Mailbox For Curb Appeal

While this space has been empty, the weeds have started moving in. They’ve been cut down several times with a weed wacker, but they always come back.

Each time they come back, they are bigger than before, spreading out further and further. I’ve tried pulling some of them out but they always break off at the ground, leaving the roots. I needed a better plan.

I was offered the opportunity to try a Spectracide product recently and the timing was perfect for my weedy flower bed. The product I used was Spectracide’s Weed and Grass Killer. It came with the spray nozzle built right in. I loved that I didn’t have to do any measuring or mixing, it was ready to go as soon as I attached the nozzle.

One of the things I really liked about this particular weed killer that I’ve never seen on any other weed killers I’ve purchased in the past is that it’s rainfast in just 15 minutes. Have you ever sprayed weed killer, only to have it rain the same day undoing all your work? Frustrating, isn’t it? I was relieved to read how fast it works, knowing I wouldn’t have to reapply it again if a rain shower popped up later in the day.

The results were excellent as you can see in this picture taken a few days ago.

Not a weed in sight!

I’m very pleased with the results the Spectracide Weed and Grass killer produced. The bed is weed free now and ready for spring planting.

I wish I had thought to take a photo when my Dianthus were in bloom, they were beautiful this year! The Stella d’ Oro daylilies are just starting to bloom on this side. I will definitely use them as I make my plans for this bed. I may move them to a different spot in the bed, not sure just yet.

With the weeds all gone, it’s now time for the fun part…the planning and planting! Remember this inspiration picture from my previous post? I’ll have it in mind as I shop for flowers for this bed.

Any suggestions on what would be great in this area? I’ll be looking for some sun-loving perennials and sun loving annuals.

I can’t wait to share the “After” pictures! It won’t be long because I’ll be shopping for the flowers this week!

I want to thank you all for the support on this project. Be sure to follow theΒ Spectracide Facebook page for giveaways, savings and tips.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Spectracide. The opinions and text are all mine.

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  1. Barbara says:

    Susan-this is just a long overdue note to let you know how much I always enjoy your blog. I appreciate the variety of subject matter but moreover, the constancy of your posting. I can only imagine how difficult it must be to conjure a steady stream of posts. You never fail to create something of interest while allowing us into your life, sharing your trials, tribulations and triumphs. Thank you for your efforts-they are appreciated.

    • Aww, thanks Barbara, you just made my day! Appreciate those kind words so much! I really do enjoy sharing things I love and hope are helpful. I’m so grateful for dearhearts like you who stop by to read and visit! XO

  2. I also can’t wait to see what you end up with. I am such a novice to gardening and am so green-eyed when I see one like this. I know it’s hard to work but yet so rewarding. So inspiring and thanks for sharing! -Bev

  3. I can’t believe you didn’t ask for planting suggestions. Not that you need them, mind you. Loved the photo of your now clean-swept, looking-like-a-lush-green-carpet front lawn. Doesn’t seem that long ago that I was looking at the before/after photos for THAT project. πŸ™‚

    • Yeah, bring ’em on! I would love some planting suggestions, I’ll add that to the post! πŸ™‚ Kathy, you wouldn’t believe the trials and tribulations my poor sod has faced this year. Apparently, the ice we had this winter caused some damage to a lot of yards, especially those just sodded last summer. You can’t see it that well in the picture I took for this post, but I do have some not-so-great-looking spots throughout the lawn. I think they will eventually fill in, if the warm temps will actually stay. We keep see-sawing back and forth here, one week warm, the next week in the 40s & 50s. Have the temps been more consistent where you live? Okay, let’s hear those planting suggestions! πŸ™‚

      • Let’s see (brr from just outside of Rochester, NY): the temps are all over the place up here. I swear we only had 2 days of spring and they weren’t consecutive. Like a lot of people who’ve already commented, I love flowers that need minimal upkeep – Iris are one of my favorites. This area is well known for lilacs -which would not be a good choice for your mailbox area. πŸ™‚

  4. I just moved day lilies to my mailbox bed. I’ve had such issues with certain flowers growing there, but so far they are doing great!

  5. Yours is the first blog I always read out of many that I follow. Periwinkle is great and drought tolerant. It comes in many colors from light pink to red, even purple. But it won’t be “showy” until it greats really hot—like middle to late June. I enjoy all your projects.

    • Oh, thanks so much, Sandra! Appreciate that! is Periwinkle the same as Vinca? I will definitely look for it when I head to the garden center this week. Thanks!

  6. Carolyn Price says:

    I have weeds and vines to kill. Very timely, Susan.
    How long, after the area is sprayed, can the area be replanted without worry the plantings will die?

  7. Carol Neibling says:

    Susan, yesterday the lawn man came to look at the results of last falls spraying and this springs fertilizing and we decided that he will have to come back and redo the weed spraying. He told me that a little blue Dawn put in the spray will make it work better. He also told me that they now have a spray for bindweed and he will be back to put it on. With all the wind lately and then the frost he hasn’t wanted to do anything for fear of killing my flowers and vegetables. Whatever you put around the mailbox will look beautiful because you have a great talent for making things beautiful.

    That little house is just darling. There are a lot of those houses in KCMO in the Brookside area and young couples are buying them and making them beautiful again. We love to drive thru that area when we go down and enjoy those houses. HGTV magazine featured some in their magazine last year. I just planted some Cardinal climber and Hyacinth Bean on my garden house. Last year they were so beautiful, I got more trellis and hope they look as good as they did last year.

    • Thanks, Carol! Yep, you don’t want to spray weed killer when it’s windy. I love that house, too! Just love it! I bet your garden house is adorable with those two growing there…would love to see a picture later this summer!

  8. There are SO MANY restrictions it seems…deer resistant…mildew resistant…allergy resistant…I need a plant doctor!! franki

  9. It’s not a large area but still…you want low maintenance. The day lilies are a good idea mixed in with some flowering ground cover that’s been mentioned. Other than that maybe some irises in the back for height and just a few annuals around the edges for some punch? You may also consider something that will climb a bit on the mailbox pole. Not sure if that will work for you but it could love really nice!

  10. Pam ~ crumpety cottage says:

    Susan, I just did my mailbox flower bed and love it! I made sure to choose flowers that did well in full sun and were fairly drought tolerant, once established. I used a climbing hibiscus, Asiatic lilies, pansies, dusty miller, russian sage, salvia, begonias, irises, and some small grasses. It looks so pretty. I love it. πŸ™‚

    • Pam, that sounds beautiful! I love all those flowers! Is the climbing hibiscus on the mailbox?

      • Pam ~ crumpety cottage says:

        Yes! It’s poised to grow up all around it. And btw, the fellow who planted that bed for me has a tool he called a ‘weed weasel’ and it has twisted prongs that you jab into the earth, then you twist the handle and it uproots the weeds. You still have all that bending over to do, but it really did look like it worked well for getting them down to the roots. Just fyi.

        This spectracide you mentioned sounds great for working fast and for being able to replant right away. Thanks for testing it out and sharing your experience.

  11. Susan did the weed & grass killer affect any of the existing flowers? I have flower beds that I do weekly weeding on, but the grass has been persistent in creeping over the edging….it’s becoming a losing battle. I just don’t want to damage the flowers & shrubs.

    • Cynde, it didn’t effect them at all. I was just careful to not spray any of it on the flowers. Fortunately, the weeds I had were not right up against any flowers. If you have some weeds that are right up against some flowers, I would hand pull those.. Since it says it can rain after 15 minutes and not effect how it works, I’m thinking it must dry very quickly and not run off should it rain later in day. So it should effect the other plants as long as you don’t spray it on them. I noticed today another large bed on the other side of my yard has fescue grass growing in it…I think it’s from where my neighbor reseeded his yard in the fall. I’m going to use it kill the fescue that’s popping up in that bed.

  12. I was going to suggest Periwinkles too & yes they are also called Vinca. They bloom really well & don’t need constant watering if planted in the ground. They can take full sun, too! If they are in pots, they need more water. If you like pinks & purples this might work for you. I also like to mix some white Periwinkles in with the color because that really brightens up the area.

    • Love pinks and purples in the garden…fave colors for gardens! I wasn’t sure how well they took sun so that’s good to know. Will definitely look for those!

  13. Elizabeth Barnhill says:

    Susan, You should be making a series of coffee table books of your tablescapes and, with permission, those entered in T. Thursdays. You know there is a built-in audience for those.

    • I keep saying I’m going to do it one day…just can’t seemed to find the time while I’m posting each day. I need to just make the time somehow. Thanks, Elizabeth for that encouragement! Appreciate it so much…will think more seriously about it. πŸ™‚

  14. with a bed so small hand weeding would be better, so you dont have to use chemicals.

  15. Jane, thanks for that suggestion but as mentioned in the post, I tried pulling them and using a weed wacker, neither method worked. They just broke off at the ground, leaving the roots. I have a similar weed in my perennial bed that does the same thing when you try to pull it, it just breaks and comes back even bigger. This product got down to the roots and worked great! Very pleased with how quickly and well it worked!

  16. Thanks for the product information. I am in the process of working on my mailbox area too. I have clematis, rose campion – , iris, stella d’oro daylilies, and I plan on putting in lantana and dragon wing begonias. My mailbox gets the afternoon sun and heat. I need tough plants. I loved the suggestions that Pam ~ crumpety cottage shared. I hope she sends you a picture!

    Looking forward to seeing what you plant!

  17. Charlotte says:

    Thank you for telling us about the weed killer, I am getting some this week! The corner of my patio garden below my birdfeeders is full of weeds from the seeds dropping. That sounds like just what I need.

  18. Bonnie Gutierrez says:

    Susan, clematis would be appropriate for your mailbox area. Plant it near the bottom of the post and it will wrap itself around and up. Make sure you mulch well as their roots like the shade and protection. My clematis is planted in a full sun spot and is blooming now and is striking…it will come back next season and you don’t have to cut it back in the fall!
    Vinca is a good suggestion for that area. If you plant it now you will be amazed in a few weeks. Someone talked about the brightness of the white vincas – they have a deep pink center and are a nice choice for that vivid white. Some other plants that will thrive in full sun are coreopsis, wax begonias, purple coneflowers, and lavender. I know you’ve got this – it will be beautiful Good luck!

  19. Christy Keyton says:

    I was going to suggest vinca as well – it loves the sun. I have a climbing jasmine on my mailbox – it is pretty much evergreen and smells lovely when it blooms. If you want a large bush behind the mailbox (as in your inspiration photo) the sun-loving hydrangea “limelight” would do well there.

    • Christy, can limelight take the full sun? I would love one there if they can take the sun.

      • Merri Jo says:

        Susan, I have three Limelight Hydrangeas in my back & side yards that face west & south. They do require extra water & a bit of attention the first year, but they are completely up fazed by sun, heat & humidity, once established! I cut & dry armfuls in August & they are beautiful!

  20. Weeds have a way, don’t they? I have nut grass growing among the liriope and I can’t get rid of the stuff. The root structure is way to hard to destroy. Whatever you decide to plant, I’m sure it will be the just right thing.

    • Lulu, I had nutsedge in my sod…is that the same as nut grass? If so, you may want to read some of the comments on this post I did where I showed the nutsedge, some folks left suggestions about how to deal with it in the comments.

  21. Love your inspiration photo – gave me an idea of what to do around my mailbox. Looking forward to seeing how yours turns out.

  22. I know whatever you do will be beautiful, and the envy of the neighborhood!!! I have some suggestions too. We just did a bed out front, we put tulips and hyacinths in the Spring, then we have peonies and purple salvia that are perennial and begonias around the edge for color all summer!

  23. Linda Page says:

    See,Susan, I’m not the only person who thinks you should do a tablescape book. I just think recipes for delicious food to compliment your table settings would be nice. There definitely is a ready made audience for a book by you!

  24. I would consider some sedum for that area. There is the Autumn Joy or Autumn Charm sedum which are taller and various other types that stay low to the ground and offer different colors of green, I’ve heard vinca is aggressive and hard to control. There are many ornamental grasses that offer height or can be short and low. Pop in some annuals and you’ve got a boost of color that will last through the summer.

  25. SharonFromMichigan says:

    I love the way pink roses and Russian sage look together. I plant the Russian sage so it intertwines with the roses. I’m going to buy the weed killer this weekend – I have a small thistle patch beginning in one of my flower beds and I need to nip those now before they spread.

  26. I am going to look for that product. I’ve used Round-Up, and it really doesn’t work. The other thing I’ve used with some success is boiling water. It kills EVERYTHING, and obviously has no long-term effects on the area.

    I am so jealous of you having a bed for sun-loving plants. Everything I want to plant loves the sun, and I have so little to offer it. Without further ado, the things I want to plant and can’t: stargazer lilies. Gladioli. Azaleas (I am moving the ones I have in hopes of actual blooms). Peonies (festiva maxima is on my wish list). Roses, roses, and more roses! Have fun with that!!

  27. Susan, I looked back at your inspiration photo. To me it looks like part of the charm is the large oak leaf hydrangea behind the post. Since your brick pillar is quite substantial I think a large shrub behind it would give some interest to the lower plantings. You know what works best in your climate and when they bloom. Someone else suggested the taller varieties of sedum which are so nice in the fall. Whatever you choose you will make it beautiful. Have fun.

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