How can i keep annuals alive in the desert?

We live in the high desert and every time I buy plants I can never keep them alive longer than a week. I'm either over-watering or under watering. How often do I water? Do I give them food? How often do you replace the soil? How big of a pot do they need? I really want to learn these things because I really enjoy gardening spending time with my kids doing these things as well as the appeal adds to the home from the outside. I try really really hard but it seems the harder I try the uglier these poor plants get. Please help us!
  5 answers
  • Landsharkinnc Landsharkinnc on Jun 14, 2017
    A lot will depend on the kind of plant as to how often to water, feed, how much sun, how cold it gets at night...when you go to look at plants, before you purchase, write down the name and research it on the internet...don't let the Big Box stores tell you...they just want to sell plants!

  • Darlene Darlene on Jun 14, 2017
    Always read the tags to check to make sure what region the plant can live in. I t will give you the temperature the plant can withstand. Good luck!

  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Jun 14, 2017
    Desert exactly????What plants have you tried?

  • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on Jun 15, 2017
    If it is dry two inches down when you put your finger in the soil it definitely needs water. If you have a stand alone garden center that is real good they will have knowledgeable employees that can help you figure out what you are doing right and wrong and how you can fix the wrongs. It may just be that you have to change something simple. I got a meter 30 years ago that tells you what the soil moisture level is. That is the only way houseplants survive in my house. You can use the meter in potted plants outside too. Don't purchase it at the big garden centers as they are way expensive. I have seen them in the garden centers at Walmart, Menards and Home Depot for a lot cheaper. Keep going at it until you get it right and you will find yourself doing a lot more planting with great results! Good luck!

  • Nichole Trevino Nichole Trevino on Jun 16, 2017
    Thank you all for taking the time to respond! Nancy Turner, thank you for being so kind and helpful! 😊