Planting & Landscaping

Sun Loving Annuals

Some annuals are happiest in full sun. They will require at least 6-8 hours or more of sun a day. Always check the sunlight requirements for each plant before purchasing.

We have all made the mistake of planting in the wrong spot. Save yourself money and time by always making sure the plant will be in its ideal location.

Annuals are plants that grow, then flower and seed, and then die — completing their life cycle in one growing season only. They are fast-growing and will fill in your garden beds in a matter of weeks giving you vibrant color and enjoyment.

In a warm climate, some plants will live for longer, and survive a mild winter, self-seeding into the next spring and summer. In colder climates, a tender perennial will be grown as an annual as it won't survive after the first frost.

Annuals range from tender to hardy, and give you the most bang for your buck, as they are relatively inexpensive, fast-growing and most have an abundance of flowers.

If you are new to gardening, annuals are easy to grow and very rewarding.

Choosing Annuals

choosing annuals

Selecting annuals in spring and fall (warm-season and cool-season) is a favorite past time of mine. Have an idea in mind before visiting your local garden center; otherwise, you could be overwhelmed with the wide variety on offer.

If you are going to start growing your annuals from seed, then you will be looking through all the seed catalogs, mainly during the winter months for your warm-season planting and visa versa.

Choose the right location for the right plants. 

Planting Annuals

Planting annuals

At the first hint of spring, you will be eager to start planting. But with summer annuals, timing is everything. Make sure that the lasts frosts have passed before planting.

Add organic matter to your soil in preparation for planting. This matter will aid in loosening the ground and will help hold moisture during a hot summer.

Water the seedlings in the tray a few hours before transplanting. Try not to transplant the seedling in the heat of the day, and I find the best time is at the end of the day to give them some time to recover and minimize transplant shock. If you must plant during a sunny day, erect some protection such as a garden umbrella.

Plant the seedling at the same depth it was growing in the trays, making sure to keep the spacing recommended on the tag.

Mulch with bark, straw, or dried grass clippings to help retain moisture.

Water the newly planted seedlings immediately and keep the soil moist until they have established in their new digs.

Grow Annual Seeds In-Situ

Planting seeds in-situ

Some annuals are very easy to grow from seed in-situ, which means "on-site." These are very easy for the beginner gardener. Always plant after the recommended frost dates.

Prepare your garden beds well with lots of added compost and remember, moisture is essential in successful seed germination. Make sure the soil is damp to the touch until the seeds begin to germinate.

Thin out seedlings and plant them to fill the gaps in your garden. 

Some easy to grow annual seeds in-situ for full sun:

Marigolds

Zinnia

Cosmos

Nasturtiums

Sunflowers

Sweet peas

Foxgloves

Violas

California Poppy

Morning Glory

Amaranthus

Salvia

Brown Eyed Susan

Nigella

Blue Flax

Collect the seed at the end of the growing season and keep them in a paper packet in a cool dark place for planting out next season.

Fertilizing Annuals

Fertilizing Annuals

Annuals need regular feeding. Slow release or continuous-release organic fertilizer when planting. Then every second or third week, fertilize with a solution of water-soluble organic fertilizer.

Your local garden center will have a seedling mix/potting mix specially formulated for planting seedlings in containers. These usually will eliminate feeding the annual for the first few weeks.

Watering Annuals

Watering annuals

Regular watering is fundamental in the success of your annual garden.
Always water delicate seedlings with a fine spray

Those in full sun will usually require watering every day or every second day. Never allow the plant to wilt. Keep the soil moist but not soggy.

Most annuals in full sun in containers will need watering daily, and if they are in an enclosed environment such as a covered patio or courtyard, they may even need watering twice daily.  Haning baskets dry out quickly.

How To Keep Annuals Blooming

  • Choose health annuals when purchasing seedling trays
  • Keep soil moist to the touch
  • Never allow the plant to dry out
  • Feed regularly
  • Deadhead often
  • Remove seed pods
  • Never let them get leggy - if so prune them back a few inches
  • Annuals For Sun And Heat

    Dianthus

    Gazania

    Portulaca

    New Guinea Impatiens

    Flowering Vinca

    Lantana

    Million Bells

    Petunia

    Morning Glory - creeper

    Full Sun Annuals That Bloom All Summer

    Annuals-that-bloom-all-summer

    Watering and fertilizing with organic fertilizer are vital in keeping your annuals blooming all summer long.

    Marigolds - an all-time favorite

    Petunias - lookout for the Supertunias this coming season

    Sunflowers - make beautiful cut flowers

    Morning Glory

    Calendula

    Pentas - Sunstar Rose will bloom until the first frost

    Full Sun Annuals For Containers

    Most annuals will thrive in containers.

    However, containers dry out much quicker than in the garden beds so adequate watering is a must especially hanging baskets in full sun.

    Annuals Full Sun To Part Shade

    Annuals for full sun to part shade will require 4-6 hours of sun a day. Preferably morning sun.

    Euphorbia

    Lobelia

    Sweet Alyssum

    New Guinea Impatiens

    Winter Annuals

    winter annuals

    There is a range of frost-tolerant hardy annuals that will give your winter garden much-needed color, depending on the severity of your winter.

    Start planting winter annuals at the beginning of fall which gives them the best chance to increase in size as they do not grow once the winter sets in.

    Primula

    Viola

    Poppy

    Pansies

    Sweet pea

    Sweet alyssum

    Dianthus

    Calendula

    Stock

    Snapdragon

    When The Annual Season Ends

    After the first frosts, most of the annuals will need to be removed.

    If you live in a mild climate, shake the spent plant so that the seeds will scatter on the ground and grow back next season.

    Sun Loving Annuals

    Takeaways

    • Growing annuals will give your garden that extra color for most of the season. 
    • You can vary your annuals from season to season, making sure there is always interest in the dullest of spots for the least amount of money.

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