Spring has finally decided to grace our area and I have to say it’s about time. In response the garden centers are gearing up for their busy season with daily shipments of plant material landing on their shelves. Even though we are still several weeks away from planting temperatures the annuals are arriving in all their glory.
In an effort to save money you will want to choose your annuals carefully, being mindful to buy good plants at the appropriate time. Here are a few tips on how to do just that.
Tips for Buying Annuals:
Do not buy them too early. It’s very tempting but many may be lost in the few weeks they have to hang around your garage or back door.
Choose plants that look healthy. There should be no signs of bugs or disease.
Plants should be compact, bushy and look fresh. Stay away from tall spindly plants. More is sometimes less.
Try to buy plants that are not in flower. I know this is hard but flowering plants suffer from shock when they are transplanted and can take quite awhile to start blooming again.
Plants should be well watered and not in stress.
There should be no weeds in the pot.
Check the roots to make sure they are well developed however the plant should not be root bound.
Tips for Planting Annuals:
Do not plant too early. Wait until all danger of frost is past for your area.
Plant in appropriate growing areas, as in full sun or shade depending on the plants needs. Most annuals like a good, humous rich soil.
If you have to wait a few days before planting your new annuals, keep them out of the direct hot sun and make sure to water them regularly.
If possible, plant on a cooler and overcast day.
Work a good organic fertilizer into your garden soil and dig a hole the same size as the pot.
Place the plant stem to the same level in the soil as it was in the pot.
Gently tamp the soil around the plant and add a layer of mulch.