Planting Tips for Annuals
Annuals are plants which will thrive for only one growing season. There is a multitude of varieties from which to choose and can be an exciting project. A good place to start when planning your garden is to research a tool called “The Color Wheel”. This tool will help in the choice of colors that compliment each other. Prepare your beds in the fall by adding organic materials so in the spring nutrients will be available almost immediately. Choose healthy plants and plant as soon
as you can.
When the threat of frost is over and beds are not too muddy or soft, clean and level them. The soil needs a chance to warm up; mid-to-late May is time to plant.
A good rule of thumb to follow is the adage “a two dollar hole for a 50 cent plant”. This means to have a hole large enough for the roots to start to spread and the annual to grow. Remember taller plants to the back, shorter to the front.
The Annuals are usually sold in packs and this can cause the roots to bind up. It is a good practice to “tickle” or loosen the roots. Some plants such as pansies do not like this practice, so be gentle, after all they are only “babies” at this time. Allow the proper spacing between annuals. This information can be found on the info cards or seed packs that you have purchased. Firmly press the soil back around the plant.
After planting gently water in using a gentle “rain” of water. Avoid watering in strong sunlight; this can burn leaves of the young plants. Early morning or evening is preferred. DO NOT OVER WATER, this can drown the roots.
In a few days after the “shock” of planting, the plants will recover. Use a good organic fertilizer that will not burn the young leaves. Follow product directions and sprinkle around the annuals. A liquid fertilizer can be applied, as directed, after the annuals have established themselves. Remember this takes a bit of time, so have patience, as the fertilizer needs to breakdown in the soil. The fertilizer needs to be in a form the plants can take up and thrive.
Weed well and then apply good organic mulch. Smaller mulch particles work better than large. Please avoid nuggets, or plastic or dyed mulch products.
Summer care will include removing spent blooms and possibly trimming back to support new growth.
ENJOY the season and you will find many annuals will last well into Fall until a hard frost.