You can easily turn your garden or yard into a new look for this season. From coleus plants to petunias annual plants are a wonderful way to enhance your garden. Whether you are new to gardening or an old pro this guide will help you choose the best flowering annuals for your space.
What is an Annual?
Annuals are plants that have a life cycle that spans just a single season. In simple terms, they appear in the spring, grow beautifully, go to seed, then they die once the frost hits in your area. While there are many different types of traditional annuals, some plants that are called annuals can be perennials if they're planted in the right climate.
How do I Choose the Right Annuals?
Making the correct plant selection depends quite a bit on your experience with gardening, how much work you want to do, and where you live.
The annual plants you decide upon are influenced in part by your skill as a gardener. If you've been doing this for some time, pick anything you like. If you're new to the world of gardening, though, you may want to choose plants with a reputation for being simple to grow. And keep in mind early successes will undoubtedly encourage you to try something more challenging in the years ahead.
Maybe all you need is some attractive flowering annuals outside your window in a planter. If you're busy with other things and you want simplicity, that must be taken into account. For some gardening is therapeutic and a relaxing pastime which helps any time, any day. Figuring out where you're at on that scale before you choose plants is a must. Some annual choices can go without water for an entire weekend. Others need constant maintenance that you may or may not have time to handle.
Where you live also has an impact on what to grow. Some plants love dry, arid climates. Others love wet, cooler areas. Knowing which is which and what's right for you is key to selecting the ideal annual this season.
Planting Your Selection
The key with any annual is that you can't rush it. On the whole, these are plants that prefer warm soil as well as temperatures that won't dip too far one way or the other, so waiting a bit later in the season to plant is never a problem.
Once you're ready, pull the plants you've chosen from the pots you purchased. If the roots look at bit compacted, break them apart a bit to help them develop a better root system after planting. Some nurseries use peat pots for annuals, and they'll have directions on the side as to how to handle the pot.
As you set each one in the garden, you'll want to put it at about the same level they were at in their original pot. Add soil, water, and a bit of starter fertilizer around the base of the plant, then water it on a regular basis. If weeds are a concern you can always try mulch around the plant to keep weeds at bay.
Finding a Helpful Nursery
These days, the nursery around the corner may have become an online powerhouse that exclusively handles e-orders. Ordering online has become almost commonplace nowadays and why not, the big box stores only have narrow selections and that reliable and trusted nursery is a thing of the past.
Ordering online probably means you'll get a much better selection of plants than you might have at the closest big box store, and it may also spell a measure of customer support that's just not available at many other places. Online nurseries typically have highly trained growers who have spent their lives learning about what they sell, and instant access to those kinds of professionals is hard to come by.
Additionally, by placing orders online you can quickly study the plant before you buy. Take a look at what climate it grows best in. An excellent source for information are blogs and forums of trusted sites to see what others have to say. Sharing experiences with others like yourself who are growing the same plants for the first time. It's really an opportunity that novice gardeners simply didn't have a decade ago.
Betty Jo writes on a variety of topics from health and fitness to leisure activities like gardening. Annual plants help beautify any garden and you will find a large selection of sturdy annual plants at The Growers Exchange.