garden blogger phoenix lifestyle blogger Diana Elizabeth

My 3 Step Order to Planting to save money and time!

garden blogger phoenix lifestyle blogger Diana Elizabeth

n Phoenix we get two seasons, fall is another chance for us to enjoy the tomatoes, blooms, and get back outside since our winter is mild. Whether you are a gardener or hope to start, here are some posts to help you along your journey – if you are in warm climate areas like Texas, Florida or Southern California, or use this post to start planning your upcoming garden projects.

There is a method of the order I plant to save money and not disturb what I’ve already planted underground – like bulbs and corms! 

Too many seasons I have been planting and accidentally pulled up a disturbed a tuber and thought whoops… so I am sharing the order I plant my garden.  Let me know if you have a different method!

This is what I do for each season I garden if applicable, but primarily fall and late spring since I don’t do this much for the garden in the summer as things need to rest and can’t survive the summer heat.

Step 1 – Plant starters, plugs (and bushes) from the nursery – anything that currently grows above ground level 

The larger items start my garden base, and I make sure the taller plants are planted in the back of the beds. This starts my planting palette (white, pink, and purple) and I can see what I’ve already planted because they are already in bloom or have green foliage. 

What can be tough is when bare root roses come in and February are ready to be planted in the ground – you will have to be OK with disturbing a few things. 

  • Trips to the nursery: 3-4
  • What I buy: (fall) Snapdragons, Salvia (will not last through winter, cut down to ground), Artichoke, lavender, basil green and purple (for landscaping too), tomatoes, peppers, geraniums, fresh mulch (Home Depot delivery for $35)
  • Spend amount: $400-$600

Look for the smaller starters in 6 packs if you can – might save you money. Snapdragons can be $2.99 which is a great deal but they need to go in when it’s not too hot as they are still young. The best bang for your buck would be bushes that flower that are perennials – like a rose bush. Fall planting means looking ahead for spring and what will bloom in spring.

Step 2 – Plant seasonal corms, tubers and bulbs in the ground 

Next I place tubers and space them anywhere in the ground since I can see what has already been planted.

  • What I buy: (fall) Ranunculus corms, daffodil tulip bulbs, mulch 
  • Spend amount: $200+

Order early online. In Phoenix I like Floral Curated With Love and If you are in a pinch, you can head to Home Depot and find some, but I’m never sure how well they do, let me know in the comments if they work for you.

Step 3 – Direct sow seeds

seed keeping kit

Immediately after planting tubers and bulbs I will scatter seeds everywhere else and if I so wish, on top the tubers and bulbs – I can always pinch them back if they look over crowded. I consider my seeds fillers.

Now I don’t disturb my garden beds!

  • What I buy: Alyssum, snapdragons, basil, herbs, poppy, othersI want to try!
  • Spend amount: $30+

I save seeds from previous flowers. Cover the seeds with tulle or cages from critters. Order early online or pick up in Phoenix on specific pick up dates – I like Floral Curated With Love and 

Related reading

Here is a round up some of my how-to garden posts for easy reference and of course.

Photo by Kate Nelle.

I am here if you have any questions! I love to chat about my experiences and what I am learning.

Diana Elizabeth has severe allergies and will often have problems with sinus infections with allergies, but she still insists on gardening anyway! 


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Diana Elizabeth Steffen setting the table for her annual garden party


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Diana Elizabeth is an author, photographer, and obsessive thrift shopper. You can typically find her in the garden wrist deep in dirt, at a local estate sale or planning her next creative themed party. She continues to blog weekly.


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