Folks come in the nursery and tell me they don't want to plant annuals for their flower
beds because they are so much up keep and you have to plant every year. My reply: Think of seasonal color as the candy in the dish on the coffee table. You replace it occasionally or it gets stale, but it gives your interior decoration that homey feel, adding that little extra touch.. So what makes a great annual bed?
1) Draw it! Use a box of colored crayons or pencils and put it on paper.
It will help you stay on track. Use colors you like and ones that compliment your house color. Don't use red in front of red brick because you won't see it.Are you a pastels or primary colors person? Primary stands out, pastels soften. If it is viewed from a distance, stick with primary because it will be seen.
2) Where in the landscape?
When you are drawing up your plan make sure you take into consideration how the space will be viewed. If it is all around,then put your tall stuff in the middle. If it is from one side, you can put your tall stuff in back. Always try to raise the level up over the rest of the landscape to give it more prominence.
3) Choose healthy plants
Budget wise it is better to purchase fewer healthy plants than a lot of bad plants. With annuals odds are they are not going to recover fully and fast enough to make your efforts worthwhile.
4) Prepare your bed with good loose soil and soil amendment
Most annuals are shallow rooted. They want to grow fast and furious. Provide them the means to do so.
5) Place plants as you designed, step back and look
Set your plants on the bed per your design before planting. Does it work? It is easier to make adjustments now as opposed to when they are already have them planted.
6) Remove all open blooms before planting
One of the hardest things to do!Take the blooms off. They are going to probably drop anyway due to a bit of transplant shock. You want those roots to establish, then let the plant give you beautiful blooms!
7) Add fertilizer to the bed or to each hole and plant to the proper depth
Annuals are heavy feeders. Give them plenty and often . I drop slow release13-13-13 into each hole and mix in when planting. I try to give them a liquid feed about every 10-14 days on top of that.
8) Start at the middle and work your way out
This way you can make adjustments as you go. I press the plant container down to make an impression, so that I can remember where the plant goes.
9) Check and adjust
Step back and look at your work every so often, to make sure you have not gotten off track.
10) Water AND mulch
After the bed is complete make sure you water well and thoroughly. Plan your mulch to complement your planting. (Again Red mulch and red flowers will make you 'loose' your flowers)
I have an unheated sunroom and I needed a warm spot to start seeds and keep houseplants. I ended up making a small indoor greenhouse using PVC pipe and clear plastic sheet! Details at http://www.walterreeves.com/how-to-archive/i...
Commented on Jan 22, 2013
Wonderful Idea...I have the perfect place for this. Thank you for sharing.
Rain gardens aren't anything new in the gardening world but their popularity and implementation are sky rocketing as home owners and gardeners alike become more conscious about their impact on the environment.
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Commented on Jan 22, 2013
Excellent!!!....excited to read further on this....we are also looking into a rain collection