Amazing Annuals for Instant Color
Annual Color Splash
Annuals complete their life cycle in a year or less, yet they’re real workhorses of the garden, blooming for months on end. They have a great range of colorful flowers from which to choose. Warm season annuals like begonias often bear flowers from spring until frost. Cool season annuals like pansies offer brilliant colors for your garden during fall thru spring.
Decide use of color
• Monochromatic (shades of one color).
• Complementary (opposite hues on color wheel).
• Polychromatic (many colors).
• Choose plants that require similar light: full sun, partial sun, shade
• Select plants with varying heights
• Incorporate different leaf shapes, textures, and scents
Set out spring annuals when the danger of frost passes and the soil is warm enough for good root growth. Prepare your soil with a mixture of 50% Back to Earth TM Composted Cotton Burrs and 50% existing soil. If you are planting in clay soil, add a 10% ratio of Soil Menders TM Expanded Shale to ensure better drainage
Dig the hole twice the width of the root ball or container. Plants should be planted with the top of their root system level or slightly higher than the surrounding soil. It is best to prepare the entire bed area before planting. Tamp the soil firmly around the root ball to eliminate air pockets. .
Slowly water the plants immediately after planting until the soil is saturated. Later in the day, water a second time using FertilomeTM Root Stimulator to stimulate early root growth.
Water as needed to keep the soil evenly damp but not wet. Do not rely on sprinkler systems alone to properly water new plantings. The best way to water is at the surface level, rather than by sprinkling. Set out a soaker hose, or bring a regular hose into the bed and let water soak the earth. Do this in the early morning to avoid excess evaporation. Establish a nice routine to check the soil for dampness and to water when the soil is dry when you poke a finger beneath the surface.
Dr. EarthTM Bud & Bloom Booster is an excellent organic fertilizer for your spring annuals. Follow label instructions, but generally you may feed every four weeks. Miracle-GroTM fertilizer may also be used as a foliar spray for a quick feeding.
A 2 inch layer of mulch (TLC recommends Grade A Premium Cypress or Cedar) placed over the bed area will discourage grass and weed growth, conserve moisture, and keep annuals cooler, resulting in better growth. If necessary, you may pull the mulch back to inspect the soil moisture of the bed to determine watering needs.
Tips for success
Experiment and try new plants and combinations. If a plant isn’t working or growing, replace it. Keep the plants growing steadily through their season by watering regularly, feeding on schedule, and deadheading spent flowers. Deadheading keeps blooms coming all season long. Simply remove spent blossoms before plants begin seed formation. With flowers removed, the plant must bloom again to provide for its reproductive process.
TLC 10 Easy to Grow Annuals
Angelonia – produces numerous snapdragon-like blossoms in shades of lavender, purple, pink, or white. It is a wonderful plant that copes well with heat and flowers throughout the season.
Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum Petunia – bubblegum pink flowers that will add a striking mass of color to your garden. Can grow up to 24 inches across and will last weeks longer than other petunias!
Dragon Wing Begonia – angel wing-like, shiny green leaves and large drooping scarlet flowers. Typically forms dense mounds to 15-18” tall and as wide. It is a superb annual for shaded or morning sun areas.
Lantana – low-maintenance annual blooms all season long. Flowers come in several colors, including red, yellow, pink, orange, purple and multi-colors. Very drought tolerant reaches 1-3 feet tall and wide.
Lobularia – taking the gardening industry by storm, this award winning hybrid is heralding praise for its outstanding performance from gardeners around the country. What could be sweeter than a honey-scented Alyssum that blooms from planting until hard frost and is heat tolerant.
Penta – clusters of star-shaped flowers in shades of red, white, pink, and purple. Pentas are attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds, withstands full sunlight, and needs little to no care.
Purslane – flowering purslane forms a dense mat of rose-like flowers all summer. It is easy to grow in hot, dry summers. One-inch flowers in a rainbow of colors, from scarlet to purple, yellow or pink.
Scaevola – large, spreading plants constantly covered with hundreds of dainty, fan-shaped flowers. Quick grower, flowers profusely and loves the heat if watered regularly.
Sun Coleus – most gardeners know coleus is a durable, colorful foliaged annual for shade plantings. But hold on, new varieties hold their vibrant colors and grow vigorously under the hot sun.
SunPatiens® – is a revolutionary new hybrid impatiens. These remarkable plants represent a breakthrough in flower breeding: robust impatiens that thrives in full sun or part shade.
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