How To Use Annuals In Landscaping Your GardenWritten by Paul Curran
An annual, from point of view of amateur gardener, is any plant which must be replaced each year and which flowers only once in its life. Annuals generally are grown from seed. The chief advantage of annuals over perennials is their low cost. Thousands of plants can be grown from a single packet of seeds.
Annuals are also very decorative, and provide best source of flowers for cutting. Their season of bloom is relatively long, as well. Their chief disadvantage is late date at which they bloom. If annuals are used alone in a bed or border, a good part of season will pass with little to show in way of color.
Annuals are also of use as a filler between shrubs set some distance apart. This permits shrub to grow, yet prevents too stark an appearance. The sowing of annuals, of course, depends upon class to which they belong. The hardier flowers, such as larkspur, poppies and cornflowers, can be profitably planted in late fall. The ground preparation must be just as careful as for spring planting.
Planting in fall is advantageous since it per mits flowers to get an early start following spring. Certain other hardy annuals can be planted early in spring as soon as ground is workable. It is a good idea to start some of less hardy annuals in seed pots, or in coldframes, as early as March. Otherwise, these plants cannot be set out until all danger of frost is gone. Outdoor planting of annuals in spring follows thorough soil preparation.
The seedbed must be carefully pulverized with a rake after it has been prepared and prior to planting. Eliminate all lumps. The seeds are sown broadcast in patch selected, and then are lightly covered with soil. The soil may be gently tamped after covering is completed. The patch should be identified with a stake and some sort of sign. Flower seeds are best planted near surface.
How To Use Flower Beds In Landscaping Your GardenWritten by Paul Curran
The loveliness of flowering plants needs little embellishment by description. Certainly every gardener seeks beauty and color that can be brought to his grounds by a variety of flowers. The proper arrangement of flower beds in your garden and attentive care to them can insure you a continuing bloom of lovely flowers year after year.
For with planning, it is possible to maintain flowers in your garden during entire length of growing season. Borders and beds are planted with flowering annuals and perennials which bloom at different periods during year. By choosing carefully initially, and by caring for flowers thereafter, blooms will overlap each other, so that there will never be a period when an old bloom disappears but that a new one will start to show its color.
Preparing soil for flower beds or borders requires greater care than planting a lawn. For one thing, digging must be deeper. It is not too much to dig bed 2 feet deep, although 1 1/2 feet is suitable. It is, of course, possible to grow flowers in a shallower bed than this, but deeper you dig, better your production will be.
All heavy lumps should be broken up. It is a good idea to spread some sand, cinders or ashes in bottom soil to break it up. Also, you might work manure, well-rotted compost, grass clippings or peat moss into bottom. Do not firm bottom soil down, but let it settle naturally.
Good loam should be used for topsoil — e.g., well-rotted manure, humus, peat moss, well-sifted leaf mold or heavy sand. Wood ashes are fine for spring, and lime may be used for loosening soil. You might think about character of your soil and consider particular fertilizer which contains elements your soil needs most. Should you use manure, be careful not to let it touch roots of plants.