What Is the Ideal Flower Bed Size?

“Is there a recommended size of a flower bed, specifically the depth, and how much Black Gold soil should be used for a solid grow?” Question from Rob of Colorado Springs Colorado

Answer: The size of your flower bed depends entirely on the space you have, the flowers that you want to plant, and the time you have to care for them.

  1. Space: If you have a front porch that you want to decorate with a front floral border, then it needs to enhance the porch while being wide enough to enable a good mix of flowers of various sizes to be grown. If you have a very small yard, start with a small bed placed in a showy spot, maybe surrounding a mailbox or along a short walkway.
  2. Flowers: Often, gardeners plant flowers at least three rows deep for high impact. If you want roses, you will need to provide enough space for them. If purple coneflowers, flowering sage, and ornamental grasses interest you, then you need to measure and plan for the beds to determine how many plants you will need.
  3. Time: Don’t over-commit. Flower beds need to be weeded, watered, fertilized, and the plants themselves need to be trimmed and deadheaded through the season. Start small if you have never grown flowers before and be sure to research plants before you grow them to make sure you know and can supply their needs.
  4. Planting Bed Height and Depth: When creating flower beds, many gardeners berm the beds a few inches high with added soil and garden amendments, such as Black Gold Garden Soil, and cover with a layer of mulch. (To determine how much amendment or soil to add, please click on our Black Gold Amendment Guide. There is a formula to calculate how much to add to a given bed size.) Berming provides flower beds with a little height and adds distinction. A nicely shaped and planned bed is like creating a beautiful stage for your flowers. It also looks good to edge your beds for a clean look (see the video below).

There are also some excellent free garden-design tools out there for new flower-bed designers. Proven Winners Perfect Pairings is a great one that allows you to choose suites of garden flowers sure to bloom at the same time and look great together.  Their Premium Continuous-Release Fertilizer is also specially designed for flowering plants.

I hope that these tips help.

Jessie Keith

Black Gold Horticulturist


Plants are the lens Jessie views the world through because they’re all-sustaining. (“They feed, clothe, house and heal us. They produce the air we breathe and even make us smell pretty.”) She’s a garden writer and photographer with degrees in both horticulture and plant biology from Purdue and Michigan State Universities. Her degrees were bolstered by internships at Longwood Gardens and the American Horticultural Society. She has since worked for many horticultural institutions and companies and now manages communications for Sun Gro Horticulture, the parent company of Black Gold. Her joy is sharing all things green and lovely with her two daughters.

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