Granted, picking the right type of plants for your backyard is crucial when you want to ensure that everything remains under your control and that your garden looks exactly how you’ve envisioned it, but it doesn’t stop there.
Many people who don’t invest enough time for research fall under the trap of bad timing and/or poor maintenance that often result in undesired outcomes.
As a matter of fact, humans are prone to error, and that’s indisputable. What’s unacceptable, is when you have what it takes to succeed right in front of you but you still choose to fail.
So, with today’s endless resources, I believe the last thing one could do is take the time to educate themselves on subjects of interest before diving into them, and taking unnecessary risks in the process.
So, before looking into how to plant annuals with practical advice, let’s first cover the basics of, first, what is an annual and what are its characteristics? Second, how should you expect it to perform in your backyard?
Annual flowering plants definition
To begin with, annuals are a type of plants that have a life span of one year, since they are not hardy enough to make it through the winter cold.
They bloom throughout the growing season if taken care of properly and add so much versatility to the garden. They come in a wide array of choices and are a perfect way to add some color to your otherwise dull garden.
How should you expect annual flowering plants to perform in your backyard?
Note that some annuals perform well in cooler seasons of the year, while others need a warmer climate to show their full potential.
Plant nurseries usually sell the appropriate annuals for the season at hand, but if in doubt, you can just ask.
So, if you have a purely perennial backyard and would like to spice things up a bit, or if you simply want a set of colorful plants in your window box or sidewalk, then here is your complete guide on how to grow these magnificent creatures the right way:
When do I plant my annual flowering plants?
Ideally, you want to plant your annual flowering plants at night, or on a particularly cloudy day. You want to spare your newly planted annuals the stress the sun can cause as they’re adapting to their new environment.
Planting them in the evening will also help the plant recover overnight. If you absolutely need to plant them on a sunny day, then you’re left with no choice but to try and find a way to cast some shadow to protect the seedlings. A piece of cardboard would work just fine.
Organize the bedding
Before planting your annuals, align them, while still in their pots, the way you’d like to plant them. Make sure to leave enough space between the seedlings for when they reach maturity, so base your spacing on the standard mature plant size.
Make sure the root balls are moist
Planting annual flowering plants don’t require a master’s degree, just some common sense. Make sure you water any annuals that are dry before removing them from their pots. The roots should be moist before planting.
Also, never pull the plant from its container, that’s how you break stems. Instead, remove them by squeezing the pot and then flipping it over, gently holding the plant with your hand. It will easily come out.
Plant your annual
With your hand or a trowel, dig a shallow hole. It should be large enough to fit an annual’s root ball. If you’re planting many annual flowering plants at a time, try this method that many veteran gardeners use: it’s called the stab-and-plant technique.
All you need to do is hold a trowel with the metal part facing down and the handle facing you. Shove the trowel into soil, and pull the handle forward, creating a hole behind the blade.
Water your new plant
After planting your annual, it’s important to not forget to water it. You can use a hose-end sprayer that provides a gentle shower of water so as not to overwhelm your new plant. Now, remember, the soil must be thoroughly soaked. In the end, add a mulch layer to slow down water evaporation and reduce weeds.
Grow your annuals
During their first season, your annuals will be quite easy to grow and maintain. All they will require is their regular drink of water and deadheading (removing spent blooms on a regular basis so that they’ll allow more blooms to emerge).
Also, make sure the soil around the roots is sufficiently hydrated, water it regularly, preferably in the morning so that it can slowly dry off as the day warms off.
If you see anything wrong with your plant, try to identify the problem and solve it alone without harming any beneficial insects which could end up causing more harm to your plant.
Your plants’ life journey will probably have to come to an end by fall. You can either replace it with fall plants like mums, violas, pansies, and flowering kale until you can start a fresh garden of annuals next spring.
Or, if you don’t mind some extra labor work, or want to save some cash, you can dig your annuals up and remove them in the fall, then replant them in the spring. Or, better yet, you can buy some annual seeds or starts (young plants).
Some seeds take weeks to germinate and grow, but, if you’re keen on speeding up the process, you can start them indoors and transplant them after the weather warms up.
Although some perform better if they’re sown directly in the garden. Follow the instructions on the package or ask a professional gardener for advice if in doubt.
So, there you have it – your complete guide to growing a nice set of annuals in your backyard. I hope that answered all your questions regarding this matter, and/or helped motivate you to add some character to your garden for the coming year.