Summer annuals planting tips
- For the most effective display, position plants in groups., and group according to colour and height.
- When sowing or planting summer annuals it is important to group plants with similar light and water requirements together.
- Plant the tallest varieties at the back, medium-height in the middle and the lowest at the front.
- When growing annuals in containers consider planting low-growing or those with a trailing habit like cascade petunias for sunny spots or petunias for shady positions.
- To brighten up perennial borders, plant annuals in the spaces between the permanent plants.
Preparation is key
- Before sowing, start preparing the beds by removing old plants left from the previous season.
- Dig over garden beds, add a generous dressing of compost, and scatter a light dressing of bone meal (high in phosphorous to help flower formation).
- Just before sowing seeds or planting seedlings, rake the soil to obtain a crumbly, easily worked surface.
- If you’re planting in containers or hanging baskets, use potting soil that drains well and retains moisture.
- Water seedlings well before planting out.
Time to plant!
- Seeds can either be scattered over the whole area or sown in grooves.
- When considering the distance between the grooves, keep in mind the size and height of the plants at maturity. Usually, this information can be found on the seed packet.
- After sowing seeds in grooves or scattering across the bed, lightly cover them with soil by raking along the length of the grooves.
- Firm down the soil with the flat side of a rake, ensure most seeds are covered and protected from the sun.
- Plant out seedlings on a cool overcast day, or early in the morning or later in the afternoon when the sun is less harsh.
- When removing seedlings from their trays, do not pull the leaves or stems, rather push out the root ball from the bottom of the seedling tray.
- Plant seedlings out at the same depth as they were growing in the seedling tray.
- Gently firm down the soil to remove air pockets and water thoroughly.
- Check on your plants regularly to ensure the newly planted seedlings do not dry out.
Caring for annuals
- Fertilise seedlings with a good general fertiliser for flowering plants. For garden beds, use a granular fertiliser and for containers or hanging baskets, use a liquid fertiliser.
- Remember to deadhead flowers to keep your plants neat and tidy and also to encourage flower production.
Bells Of Ireland