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The Pocket Guide to Annuals

The Pocket Guide to Annuals

Annuals provide great colour, form, and texture to any garden. Unlike a perennial, which blooms for a limited amount of time, annuals will flower continuously (with the proper care) until the frost kills them. There are so many annuals to choose from; whether you plant a few or a lot, you will sizzle with colour.

How to Select

  • Determine how much light will be available in the areas you intend to plant in.
  • Your colour preferences.
  • You will need to know how high annuals grow as well as their spread so you know how many to plant. They can be tiered in the garden from tall at the back to short in the front.
  • Whether to buy pre-started, or to sprout them from seed yourself.
  • Annuals are also versatile in containers.

Need some help choosing varieties? Check this out!

How to Grow

  • For clay or sandy soil, dig out several centimeters (inches) and replace with a 3-in-1 Planting Mix as well as extra peat moss, composted cattle manure, compost, or vermiculite.
  • Annuals can be started from seed indoors; some can be sown directly into soil in spring. Larkspur, Love-m-a-Mist, Morning Glory, Sweet Pea, and Nasturtium prefer direct sowing.
  • You can also purchase started plants in cell packs, 4″, 10″ or one-gallon pots.
  • Use Transplanter 5-15-5 to get annuals off to a strong start. Then fertilize every 1-2 weeks with Flower Food 15-30-15 to encourage continuous blooming.
  • For annuals with larger flowers like Geraniums, Zinnias, Salvia, and Marigolds cut off blooms (deadhead) when they start to fade so the plant won’t go to seed.
  • Watch carefully for insects and disease and treat promptly.
  • In late fall, pull up spent plants, empty containers, and compost all the disease-free material. Cleaning up is one less job to do in spring and it eliminates hiding places for insects that want to overwinter.