Buying Color This Time of Year

Buying annuals now can freshen your summer garden

Buying annuals now can freshen your summer garden.

Most of our flower beds or gardens have need for a little freshening or an addition of a spot of color as summer wears on. Garden shops and big box hardware stores still have good selections. But not all plants this time of  year perform after planted as easily as in the spring. Don’t cheap out on buying plants now. Buy plants that are at least in 4 inch pots. Look for plants in flower but still have plenty of buds forming, and the plants are still growing. Plants with more than a few yellow leaves and that are in full bloom are not the best to purchase, although they might have the most allure. Also, I like to turn the plants upside down, tap out of the pot, and see if they are so root bound that it will be a problem when they are planted. Remember to look at the tag to make sure the light requirements of the annual or perennial matches the light conditions of the place where you want to plant them.
When you get the plants home, since most of the time they are filler plants, dig a hole as big as you can with out injuring the plants around where you need to add the plant. Knock the plant out of the pot and loosen the roots with your hands, and plant at the same soil level that they came out of the container. Water throughly. I water every plant three times. Remember these plants are not established, so that means they need a little extra care especially watering until they are established. Hopefully your new additions will be bright, fresh additions to your summer garden.

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John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

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