Monday, May 21, 2012

Gardening 101: Growing Luscious Annuals

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You know it's time to plant annuals when you've gone two weeks without a frost. For those of us in Michigan, that is about mid-May. Many people say that Mother's Day through Memorial Day is your best window to plant annuals. At least in states like Michigan for sure.

For me, I am a perennial gardener. What's a perennial you ask? Those are plants that return year after year. But I do love annuals for season-round color and I have spots here and there in my landscaping where I put them. Mostly, I have pots for the annuals.

Some tips for thick growing, lush annuals? 
1. Dig your hole and add a little organic plant food.

Dig your hold about 1" wider in diameter than the root base.

2. After removing the plant from the store-bought container, loosen up the roots so they are no longer root-bound.

With your hands, break art the base of the roots.
3. Insert the plant, place dirt back around the base of the plant and, using your fingers, apply pressure on the dirt around the base to push out any air bubbles.

Pushing down the dirt around the base of the plant.
4. Okay this is the hard part but you can do this and you will be so glad you did! Ready? Okay, here goes...break off the flowers and buds by dead-heading (or using garden scissors). Dead-heading would not be exactly correct in that, unlike true dead-heading, the flowers are not dead. But the process is the same. By now are you thinking I'm insane? Stand in line friend. Seriously what this will do for your plants? By snipping off any buds or flowers the roots will have a chance to grow and establish themselves. When a plant is creating a flower, it's almost like having a baby, all of it's energy and resources go into producing the flower but the foundation is not solid because the roots have not established themselves. You will not regret it!


Flower heads after dead-heading
5. Like vignettes in your home, annuals look best planted in odd numbers, such as groups of three.

6. So after you dead head, your plant will look like this for about 2-3 weeks.

After removing flower buds.

7. Make sure they get water every day for the first few weeks at least. Even after that, you will have to water every 2-3 days, more if during a really hot and dry season.

You will not regret this because within a month your flowers will look filled out, good root system, and beautiful! Sometimes, they will even grow back the next year, like in the picture above, even though they are not supposed to!

Linking up this week to:
Making the World Cuter
What's in the Gunny Sack?
Somewhat Simple

1 comment:

  1. Right on! I don't know about you, but I am counting the days until I can get out and get planting! Your photos are inspiring.


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