Using annuals in the landscape requires some forethought. Remember that annual plantings are high maintenance. The beds need frequent grooming, watering and weeding. Because of this, it’s usually a good idea to use annuals on a limited basis. Large, expansive beds quickly become a real chore to keep up.
- Site selection is important. Choose an area that receives a minimum of six hours of sunlight, if possible. With few exceptions, most annual flowering plants bloom more profusely under high light conditions.
- Organic matters. If you have average garden soil, incorporate a two to three inch layer of organic matter. Compost, leaf mold and well-decomposed, stable manure are all good sources of organic matter. Turn the organic matter into the soil to a depth of about eight inches.
- Know your annuals. When you buy annuals, make sure you know which ones will survive all summer long. Choosing cool-season annuals such as snapdragons, pansies and petunias that do well during the winter are poor selections when purchased in March or April. To help select the correct annuals for a particular season contact your local Extension office.
- Look for stocky, dark green plants. Avoid any that are extremely tall, thin, pale or have brown or black spots on the leaves. It’s best to avoid buying the plants with flowers. While it’s nice to know what color you are getting, plants without flowers will be less stressed during the transplanting process.
- Depth is important. When transplanting, plant annuals no deeper than they grew originally. It is also advisable to slightly disturb the root ball to promote better rooting.
- Water regularly. Once plants are established, water thoroughly two or three times per week if sufficient rain does not occur. Irrigate during early morning hours or use trickle irrigation to reduce the incidence of leaf and flower diseases.
Popular Annuals in the Area:
- Butterfly Weed
- Lenten Rose
- Hardy geraniums
- Black-eyed Susans
- Panicle hydrangeas
- Russian sage
- Aromatic aster
- Virginia bluebells
Have fun and experiment! Mix colors and plants but always remember the number one rule of gardening….right plant in the right place. Interested in learning more about our lawn and landscaping service? Click Here!