Thursday, April 10, 2014 | The Greenery, Inc.

The Greenery, Inc. – Thursday, April 10, 2014

The pollen will end soon, the Azaleas have almost finished blooming and your lawn is getting greener (at least I hope yours is). So now what? Many of us gardening fanatics get a little stir crazy going into late spring/early summer. We’ve fretted, analyzed and fertilized and now we have nothing to do.  Using annual flowers to add interest to your garden and landscape and to ease the gardening itch is a good solution. This unfortunately often leads to disappointment as flowers perform poorly, are eaten by deer or just completely die because we don’t properly care for them. So here are some suggestions to make your flowers a BLOOMING success this summer.

Flower success is won or lost in the soil. If we liken plants to a big strong construction worker, then annual flowers are a newborn baby. You have to treat them very delicately. Preparing the soil with the proper amendments is a must. Try using a mixture of native soils, a good heavy compost/manure and a soil conditioner (really finely ground mulch). If you have very heavy clay native soil, you may even want to use some sand as part of the mix. This will improve soil porosity and drainage.

Planting is also important. Again these plants are little “babies” so we need to take care. Be sure to plant them at a proper depth. You should typically still be able to see the top of the native soil in the pot after you plant in the ground. A 1/2 inch high is much better than a 1/2 inch too low. Planting too low leads to crown rot, insect infestations and overall poor health.

Don’t over water. After a week of daily watering for establishment, back of to only watering as needed. Probe the soil with your finger to test moisture content  or watch closely for the first signs of drought stress. This will help your flower mature from little babies to strong blooming adults that can last the summer.

One principle to remember is that “you get what you pay for”. Flowers bought at big box stores may be cheap, but they are grown to look pretty on a shelf and keep you returning for more plants when those die. Invest your money into a good healthy plant with strong roots that has been cared for properly before you buy it. In the long run you will have greater success and a more beautiful floral display.

If you have any questions, call our garden experts at 843-785-3848 or visit us at