Planting Annuals in the Pacific Northwest
Planting annuals in beds or pots marks the beginning of a season-long show of brightly colored flowers and leaves. Annuals keep on-going throughout the season until the snap of winter comes along. Knowing when to plant annuals and which annuals to plant, helps get the seasonal show off to a solid start. Understanding the best way to plant annuals also helps to ensure a good start!
How do I know which annuals to plant?
Some annuals thrive in cooler seasons of the year, while others need a little summer sun to show off properly. Basically, some for full sun and others for partial shade.
At Bark and Garden, we offer the appropriate annuals for the proper time. If you have any questions about this, please ask one of our skilled staff… they will know exactly how to help you decide… In early Spring, this is most important as the annuals have started out in the glow and warmth of a greenhouse and aren’t yet used to the chilly evenings… Once planted, they might stop growing. As always, it is best to ask. For the sun-worshiping annuals, planting too early can cause an end to them before they are even started. We want to help you and your garden to be a complete success!
When should I plant my annuals?
The rule of thumb is… That the ideal time to plant is on a cloudy day. We have many of those here, so it is very likely, you will find one of those days soon. This protects newly planted annuals from having sun stress seedlings as they’re settling into their new digs. Another option is to tackle planting chores in the evening, which gives plants the overnight window to recover. If you must plant on a sunny day, consider erecting some sort of shade device to protect seedlings. A piece of cardboard or bedding plant flat propped up to cast shade works fine.
Make a plan
Before planting annuals in a bed, it’s a good idea to arrange plants, (in their pots), in the pattern you’ll follow when planting. If you’re planting a container, arrange pots on the work surface beside the pot. With in-ground beds, work out the spacing based on plant size. Make sure to give your plants enough room to really thrive!
Techniques for planting
- It’s not hard to master how to plant annuals. Water your annuals before removing them from their pots or cell trays. Their root balls should be moist at planting time. Never pull annuals from their containers, you can break their stems that way. Instead, remove plants from their containers by gently squeezing the pot and then flipping it over, cradling the annual stem with your hand. It should slip right out.
- Use your hand or a trowel to dig a shallow hole large enough to hold an annual plants root ball. If you’re planting many annuals, try it the “professional” way. Hold a trowel with the blade facing down and the concave side facing you. Stick the trowel into soil, and pull the handle forward, creating a hole behind the blade. Slip the annual from its container and drop it into the hole, firming soil around the plant. That should be enough for this step.
- Always water annuals after planting. Use a watering can or hose-end sprayer or watering wand that delivers a gentle shower of water. Soak soil thoroughly. Add a mulch layer to slow water evaporation from soil and help reduce weeds.