The days are warmer, our greenhouse is full of flowering annuals and it's time to take some new plants home. Follow these simple steps for beautiful blooms all summer long:
- Gradually expose newly purchased plants to the outdoors on a covered porch or in a shady spot out of the wind. This is called hardening off.
- Watch the weather. A few annuals, such as pansies will tolerate freezing temperatures, but most will need to be covered or moved inside if a frost is predicted.
- Plant in high quality potting mix. If the plants are to be planted in last year's container, remove all former plant material and refresh with new soil. Adding granular fertilizer to the soil prior to planting will promote continual blooming and healthy root formation.
- Water often. The soil should never be allowed to dry out. Depending on sun and wind exposure, annuals may need water up to twice a day.
- Routine removal of spent flowers will encourage more blooming. This is called deadheading. Be sure to remove the entire flower and stem.
- Additional liquid fertilizer (such as Fertilome™ brand Blooming & Rooting) beginning midsummer will maintain lush foliage and continuous blooming.