May Gardening Tips – Annuals

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 13,035
    Mitch Baker, Horticulturist with American Plant Garden Center, demonstrates May gardening tips for annuals.

    Mitch Baker: Hi! Im Mitch Baker with American Plant and were talking about great gardening tips for May.

    Right now, were going to talk about planting annuals. Weve enjoyed the cool season color of these pansies for the last 8 to 10 weeks, but now that the weather is getting warmer, theyre starting to stretch and elongate and the blossoms are getting smaller. Thats a sure sign that its time to pull these out. Were going to replace them with these warm-season annuals. So let's get started.

    Now were just going to knock some of the dirt off of the roots here. Were not throwing these plants away, were going to put them in the compost pile. This is the kind of green nitrogen material that we need to add to the compost pile. Now, were loosening up the soil, gotten a bit compacted over the winter. So, we want to loosen it, incorporate some oxygen back into it as were doing that. Now, were going to add just a little bit more of an organic planting mix.

    When choosing annuals for your containers, dont be limited just by what's in the Annual selection of the garden center. Look in the Greenhouse, look in the Perennial section, you want to get a nice diverse mix of plants that are going to give you color and texture and form for the whole warm season. So dont limit yourself just by whats called an Annual.

    So, today weve got a number of things to choose from here that were going to put into this big container. Well go with something like bromeliad for the color and the form and the texture of the foliage. Weve also chosen Cosmos for that color that it provides all-summer long. Thats also one of the upright elements that were going to have in the container. We also want to have something thats going to be cascading or tumbling out of the pot, so that everything doesnt just grow up straight. We want to bring that element of something draping into the container as well.

    So, this is one of the sweet potato vines, very rapid-growing, nice contrasting color with some of the other flowers were using, then some Calibrachoa in yellow, another draping or cascading plant, and, of course, the Wave Petunia, one of the more reliable all-summer blooming annuals. So again, get a diversity of plants when youre putting together a pot like this, so that you have different things to look at, lots of activity, lots of action, lots of different form and texture going on for the whole summer.

    Next thing were going to do is fertilize and water these annuals in well to give them a good start. So this is how you pot up annuals in the sun. Now, if you have a shaded spot and you want to put together a similar arrangement, this is a group of plants that would certainly be better suited to the shade. Same kind of elements that were talking about for the sun, weve got some vertical elements like the Sansevieria here, also the Caladium, big, strong, bold leaves. Weve decided to go with all white here in the shade. Thats a good way to brighten up a dark spot instead of a riot of color like this in the shade, maybe go for something thats more monochromatic and white really jumps out at all times during the day.

    Weve got some reliable Double Impatiens, Impatiens, in general, for the shade, one of our more reliable annuals. I also like the fine texture of the small blossom of this Euphorbia that gives you color all-season long. Its a nice complement to the big, bold leaves of the Caladium and the Sansevieria.

    If you follow these tips, your flowering annual plants will look great for the whole summer season. Next, were going to talk about planting herbs and vegetables.