Miss Kirby's KommonSenseTips for
Planting Annuals and Flowers
Prepare your Area
1) Prepare the area in which you are going to plant your annual flowers by removing all sod, roots, weeds or any other debris. Level the ground, leave any existing mulch as it will build soil for future plantings. Mix our RBS and Walpole Wonder WW fertilizers half-and-half (see the fertilizer guide as to what this will do) and sprinkle it evenly all over the planting area (just like you were peppering eggs). Take our premium shredded non-floating cypress mulch and spread it evenly at a depth of 1” thick. Pull the mulch back & dig a hole as deep as the root ball and twice as wide, loose soil is easier for new roots to push through. Put 1 teaspoon of Osmocote food in the bottom of the hold, flowers love Osmocote - it’s like catnip to cats.
2) Take your plant, pot and all and firmly place it in the hole. The soil gets compacted and you can check that the hole is the right depth. Remember to allow 1/8 – 1/16 of an inch of the top of the root-system to be above the soil/mulch level. This allows enough room for your mulch to NOT touch the stem of the plant. Remove your plant from the pot, place it in the hole and firmly set the soil around the root-ball. Re-arrange the mulch so that it just comes to the top edge of the root-ball.
Final Watering-In, Remove air pockets!
3) Now it’s time for your annuals final watering in. This is very important to remove any air pockets. If possible, use a dram water breaker (lots of water volume and no chance of bruising/damaging the young tender annuals stems) and thoroughly soak the entire area. Your plants have food to grow new roots and to produce flowers.
Fertilize with many Small Meals
4) As annuals and flowers produce a lot of flowers, they need many small meals. Fertilize once every month or six weeks with our WW fertilizer (remember don’t touch the stems, evenly like you were peppering eggs) and you’ll be the envy of all your neighbors by having the heaviest flowering annuals in your neighborhood.
Short or Tall Annuals, your Choice
5) If you would like to maintain your annuals on the short side, plant them 12 – 16” on center. If you want them to grow tall, plant them closer, 6 to 8 inches apart. The closer you plant the faster and taller the plant gets.
Watering, Misting, and Testing the Root Ball
6) Watering during the initial establishment phase usually consists of, watering twice a day (small root-ball) and then when they become established usually every second or third day is sufficient. When they wilt it means they need water, and if you don’t water the stems will implode and you will get fungus as a secondary illness. Water according to soil and weather conditions.
Mist during the afternoon or early evening hours if your plants wilt. Check to see if the water is wetting the soil below the root-ball. Take a shovel or trowel straight down into the ground, wiggle it, pull the shovel out and feed the soil to make certain it’s wet below the existing root-ball.
When it rains "TURN IT OFF" - it is possible to water too much. CORRECT WATERING IS IMPORTANT.
FINAL NOTES: See my "Plant Establishment Guide". If your new plant drops older bottom leaves or withers, it's usually "lack of water" so water your plant AND surrounding area thoroughly. If your plant seems to be dying from the top down, or looks like it’s melting, it’s usually too much water. Mulch or soil on the stem can cause stem or root rot.