May 12 2017
Annuals are plants that need to be re-installed each year, as opposed to perennials which are plants that come back year after year. Generally speaking, annuals are the very colorful flowering plants that make a beautiful addition to any landscape, and can be used in beds, pots, or large containers. Like anything worth doing, a beautifully colored landscape takes time and effort. That’s what we’re here for. However, for those of you who want to work on your own garden, here are some tips on using Annuals to create the most beautiful yard, patio, or porch in your neighborhood.
(1) When to plant – In Plymouth and on the Cape in MA, the best time to plant annuals is after Memorial Day, when night time temps are reliably above 50 degrees F. Now is the time to prep your garden for planting.
(2) Soil Preparation is the key to great annuals.
- For beds, rototill in peat moss, cow manure and lime prior to planting.
- For pots: use good quality, well drained potting media.
(3) Small or No Yard? Use Containers! The best way to plant containers is to use a combination of annuals. We call them “Spillers, Thrillers and Fillers”.
- Spillers: Scaevola, Sweet Potato Vine, Lobelia, Vinca Vine
- Thrillers: Tropicals (Hibiscus, Palms, Mandevilla, Caladium and Canna Lilies), Ornamental grasses (Miscanthus, pennisetu, etc), Larger annuals (Cleome, Pentas)
- Fillers: Salvia , Dusty Miller, Petunias Pumbago, Coleus
(4) Beginners – Use Low Maintenance Annuals
Annuals do need some care – like watering, dead heading (removing old blooms), fertilizing, and weeding, in order to maximize blooms. Annuals that need less care are those that don’t not need dead heading or pinching. These annuals may offer a great way to start some beautiful beds or containers this year.
Some low maintenance annuals are:
- New Guinea Impatiens
Gardening is a great way to relax, and it’s so rewarding to see the beautiful results of your efforts. Good luck with your Annuals this season! If you would rather just enjoy the view – our Master Gardeners are just a click or call away and available to install or maintain your garden.
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