Thursday, August 7, 2014

Caring for your annuals

For the most part annuals are easy to grow.  They’ll grow in containers or in the ground.  They come in a range of sizes and colors, enough to brighten up any yard or patio.  But as the summer heat increases, even the most heat tolerant annuals may become stressed and slow their blooming.

But here are some items to consider:

**Water frequently.  Annuals will die faster than perennials from lack of water.  Regular, deep soakings supply the roots with water, reducing the stress on the plant and assuring more foliage and flowers.

**Use fertilizer regularly or apply a time released product into the soil at planting.  It provides the plant with the food it needs for robust flowers. As important as repeated watering is needed, it washes away the nitrogen in the soil, so regular application of fertilizer is important to continued growth.

**Deadheading your annuals accomplishes two things.  It keeps the plant neat, but it also keeps the plant from spending its energy on seed production.  When its not making seeds, it creates more flowers.

** Pinching them back  will reward you with lush plants and lots of flowers.  You can do this by hand or use scissors, which is sometimes quicker. (For more information on pinching back your annuals, see my July 21st post.)

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