Gardening 101 ~ Planting Annuals

Welcome to Gardening 101.
Where I share tips and techniques learned from my green thumb Mother and Grandmother.
My thumb tends to be a little black so I
happily accept any help that I can get!
I just finished filling my planters with a bunch of annuals.  I chose most of these flowers because my pots get a lot of sun exposure and..ehem..sometimes my watering can be a little tardy.
Every year I plant a selection of annuals {flowers that don’t generally come back year after year} in large terra cotta pots on our front steps.  I usually budget $75 for my 5 pots.  I returned to Costco again this year.  36 basket stuffers {annual flowers meant for hanging baskets} were still just $10.99!  Woohoo!  I bought 108 annual plants and 3 dracnea {in the grass family} for $45.  I had enough plants to fill the 5 pots on my front steps, 4 pots in the backyard and add to an existing arrangement.
I wait until there is no threat of frost before planting.  Otherwise my plants may die and I would lose my investment {here in the Okanagan you are usually safe to plant after the May long weekend}.
I had Darcy toss the old plants from last year {that were still in my pots} and filled them with a layer of small rocks {for drainage} and potting soil {also bought at Costco}.  Here’s my selection of heat {and neglectful owner} tolerant plants…
Salvia looked like a fun option.  One that I haven’t added to my pots before so we will see how it goes.
Dusty Miller is a lovely addition to flower groupings with its silver leaves.  Very hardy and draught tolerant.
Lobelia is another hardy flower that can tolerate large amounts of exposure to sun.  Interestingly lobelia has many medicinal properties.
Verbena is the perfect flower for potting.  It is draught tolerant and requires little care.
Petunias are a flower pot staple. They have a wide variety of gorgeous colors and flower all summer long.
This is what you want your root bundle to look like.  Healthy white roots have lots of room to grow.
This plant is root bound.  It has been growing in its little pot too long and may have trouble once transplanted.  You can gently massage {ha ha ha} the roots to loosen them up a bit.
I take all of the flowers out of their containers and place them in each pot, making sure I have an assortment of varieties in each one.
Then I plant them at least 1 inch from the top of the pot, gently pressing in potting soil around each plant.  Finally I give all of the flowers a good watering.
I had so many plants this year that I had to get creative with my containers!  I can’t wait to see all of these planters fill out and show you the results!
I have planted a vegetable garden again this year and will share how I tried to use crop rotation and companion planting soon.  Check out my other Gardening 101 posts for more pretties from around the yard.


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