|Time on The Line||April 2002|
GARDEN PLANTING . . . Look at the new colors and varieties introduced since you last planted your garden. Find out which plants do best in shade, which ones in sunny areas. (See list on the back.) Obtain the best fertilizer for the plants of your choice. Take one more mental walk around your garden. . . ask yourself: "Where is a spot of color needed?" Remember, annuals provide a show of color from now to frost!
SOIL PREPARATION. . . Prepare flower beds by spading deeply. Loosen up heavy clay and clay-loam soil with addition of peat moss or compost. Take a soil test to determine the type and quantity of fertilizer to be added. Contact your local district agriculturist to get soil analyzed. Incorporation of one-half pound or 16-20-0 per 100 sq. ft. or one pound of 10-10-10 per 100 sq. ft. has been found to be satisfactory. After incorporation turn the soil over, then rake it smooth, and the bed will be ready for the plants.
PRE- PLANTING CARE . . . If you buy bedding plants but cannot plant them tile same day, water the packs or flats thoroughly and put them in the shade to prevent excessive wilting. Evening or cloudy days are the best times to plant. If you have to plant during the heat of the day or on sunny days, be sure plants are watered thoroughly immediately after planting.
HOW TO PLANT. . . Annuals may come in market packs, pop-out packs, trays, flats or individual pots. Choose plants that are dark-green, vigorous-looking specimens, short in height If plants are not in individual containers, gently separate one plant from another keeping as much soil around the roots as possible. Plant the root ball below the soil line. Individual peat moss pots must be planted slightly below tile soil line to keep the pot from drying out by exposure to air.
WATERING. . . Bedding plant annuals are thirsty. Water them in thoroughly to give them a good start. Thereafter water whenever the soil begins to dry. Do it early in the day with a soaking technique at ground level. Don't be satisfied with just sprinkling the foliage since plants will not receive enough water, and moisture on the foliage for more than 24 hours encourages plant disease. Don't rely on rainfall to keep plants fresh. . . you are more reliable than Mother Nature in this case.
AFTER-PLANTING CARE . . . To promote bushy, vigorous growth in bedding annuals and more continuous blossoming, pinch out the central buds or annuals such as tall snapdragons, zinnias and marigolds. The tops or plants which tend to vine such as petunias should be cut back to 3 or 4 inches when they are too tall. Fertilize every 3 or 4 weeks (about 1 pinch per plant or 1 pound per 100 sq. ft. of 5-10-5 fertilizer). VACATION TIP: Cut plants back again so when you return home they will be fresh, thriving and vigorous.
For more specific information for your region, contact your local extension specialist, garden centre or library.
|PREVIOUS||TABLE OF CONTENTS||NEXT|