|ABOUT ANNUAL FLOWERS
WHAT IS AN ANNUAL?
An annual plant completes its life cycle in just one season, from seed to flower to producing seeds, all before frost kills the plant. Most annuals are tender (killed by frost) but there are some which are fairly hardy and will take low temperatures late into the fall. Annuals bloom quickly from seed (that's their schedule) and most can be planted directly outdoors.
HOW TO USE ANNUALS IN YOUR GARDEN:
Plant in large groups, or in masses, or in rows -- whatever effect you like. Some annuals are pretty when used as a low hedge or border around other plants. Annual flowers also are wonderful companions to perennial plants, especially perennial gardens which have been recently planted and may not bloom the same season. Plant around mailboxes, in an old tire, or in a wheelbarrow. Annuals are wonderful in large containers, too, and in hanging baskets. Allow space for plants to grow (if too crowded, they cant bloom well).
CAN I PLANT ANYTHING ELSE WITH MY ANNUALS?
YES! Combine with spring-flowering bulbs, summer flowering bulbs, perennial plants, blooming shrubs. They're also great combined with a lot of other annual flowers.
PLANT COMBINATIONS TO TRY (ANNUALS IN RED)
HOW TO GROW ANNUALS
|ABOUT PERENNIAL FLOWERS
WHAT IS A PERENNIAL?
A perennial plant is hardy (lives over the winter in most areas of the country). Most take two years until they are old enough to bloom. Plants may live for several, or many, years. Perennial vegetables such as asparagus and rhubarb may take several years until they are old enough to harvest. A biennial takes 2 years to mature and bloom. After blooming, it dies. To have bloom year after year with biennial flowers, plant seed EVERY year. Click here for Zone Map.
HOW TO USE PERENNIALS IN YOUR GARDEN:
Plant in clumps of at least 3 plants together. Repeat elsewhere in the garden (provides more blooms and pleasing repetition of shape and color). Allow space for plants to grow (if too crowded, cant bloom well)
COMBINING OTHER PLANTS WITH PERENNIALS:
Combine perennial flowering plants, which normally have a limited blooming period, with spring-flowering bulbs, summer flowering bulbs, and annual flowering plants. Plan for flowers which bloom at different times, from spring to fall.
PLANT COMBINATIONS TO TRY FOR EXTENDED BLOOM TIME (perennials in red):
FAVORITE PERENNIAL & BIENNIAL (in red below) FLOWERS FROM SEED INCLUDE:
GROW PERENNIALS POSSIBLE PROBLEMS COMMON DISEASES
GROWING HERBS IN A KITCHEN GARDEN:
If you love to cook, you need a kitchen garden with lots of fresh herbs to pick! Have one this summer, situated in a handy place not far from the stove. Nothing beats the flavor of fresh herbs!
Gardens of edible plants were planted and maintained in the earliest days of America. Thomas Jeffersons gardens at Monticello are notable both for their design and their variety of vegetables and herbs. These types of gardens are often called "kitchen gardens" because of their convenient placement near the Colonial kitchen, which was usually in a separate small outbuilding (in case of a fire).
Your cooking garden, to start with, could contain a few basic herbs and salad greens. One easy way to create such a garden is to build a small raised square, using pressure-treated landscaping ties or the new recycled plastic ties. If you have an old sandbox, use that! Or make a freeform or rectangular garden. Draw the shape on paper, and make a list of what youd like to grow.
You dont need a lot of herb plants for savory cooking additions -- just a sprig or two of fresh herbs lend a piquant flavor to your recipes. One to three plants of each will be plenty for a small family. If you like, include some bunching onions and lettuce in your Cooking Garden. All are easily grown from seeds! To plant, follow the easy directions provided on the seed packets.
CAN I GROW HERBS INDOORS IN WINTER?
Sure -- any time of year! We suggest especially parsley, chives, basil, sage, oregano and thyme, because the plants stay small. Plant seeds in 4 to 6 inch pots filled with growing medium, and place in a sunny window. Clip off small sprigs as needed. Plants will thrive for a year or more indoors; then replant. You can also grow herbs indoors under fluorescent lights. Herb plants MUST have bright light in order to produce flavorful sprigs.
IS SUMMER TOO LATE TO START AN HERB GARDEN?
No. Annual herbs such as basil and dill grow quickly in warm summer weather. You can also start any perennial herbs in summer, and youll still be able to harvest some this year. The next year, the plants will have grown into large clumps for harvesting from spring onwards. May through July is fine for planting annual herbs; June through August is fine for planting perennial herbs.
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