Home Improvement Tips: Annual Plants

In the words of American author, Pierce Brown, “Home isn’t where you’re from, it’s where you find light when all grows dark”. We hope you are finding light while staying home. Today’s home beautification tip is sure to light up your yard.

Spring is the perfect time to plant colorful annuals. SAMLARC.org/home-improvements is the best place to view approved Mediterranean annuals.

Planting annuals in beds or pots marks the beginning of a season-long show of eye-catching flowers. Knowing when to plant annuals helps get the seasonal show off to a solid start. Understanding how to plant annual flowers is the other key to success.

Some annuals thrive in cooler seasons of the year, while others need a little summer sizzle to bloom and thrive. Typically garden centers like Lowe’s or Green Thumb Nursery (both have curbside pickup) sell the appropriate annuals for the season at hand—or soon to come

The ideal time to plant is on a cloudy day. This protects newly planted annuals from having sun stress as they’re settling into the soil. Another option is to plant in the evening, which gives plants the overnight window to recover. Before planting annuals in the ground, it’s a good idea to arrange plants—in their pots—in the pattern you’ll follow when planting. If you’re planting in a container, arrange pots on the work surface beside the pot. With in-ground plants, plan the spacing based on mature plant size. Give plants enough room to spread.

It’s not hard to master how to plant annuals. Water any annuals that are dry before removing them from cell packs or pots. Root balls should be moist at planting time. Never pull annuals from their containers—that’s a good way to break stems. Instead, remove plants from their containers by gently squeezing the pot and then flipping it over, cradling the annual stem with your hand. It should slip right out.

Use your hand or a trowel to dig a shallow hole large enough to cradle an annual’s root ball. If you’re planting many annuals, try the method professional landscapers use: the stab-and-plant technique. Hold a trowel with the blade facing down and the concave side facing you. Stick the trowel into soil, and pull the handle forward, creating a hole behind the blade. Slip the annual from its container and drop it into the hole, firming soil around the plant. This method works best with loose soil.

Always water annuals after planting. Soak soil thoroughly. Add a mulch layer to slow water evaporation from soil and help reduce weeds.

Happy Gardening from SAMLARC!