Growing Annuals for Colour

The best way to lift a gardens spirit is to add a splash of colour with flowering annuals. These are fast growing plants that complete their life cycle in one year but flower for months on end. They can complement the existing plantings, add colour to an otherwise dull corner or their colours can be blended to become a stunning feature all of their own.

PLANTING ANNUALS IN GARDEN BEDS: When planting potted colour, dig the top over with a garden fork mixing through some organic matter such as blended manure and add a complete fertiliser to get the roots off to a good start. Adding some wetting agent will help the soil retain moisture through summer and water the soil just before planting.

PLANTING ANNUALS IN CONTAINERS: Planting potted colour and seedlings into pots and containers is really simple. It all comes down to choosing a decent size container with plenty of room for the plant to send its roots into (at least 20cm deep) and using a premium potting mix which contains soil wetter and slow release fertiliser. To start, place a square of shade cloth over the drainage holes at the bottom to stop the soil from dropping out and fill the pot with the soil. Position the plants and then fill with more of the soil finishing at about 4cm from the top of the container. Water with seaweed extract to encourage the roots to establish quickly and then stand back and wait for the plants to take off and bloom into colour.

MAINTAINING FLOWERING ANNUALS: Flowering annuals have one job in the garden – to dazzle! And this is all about their flowers which will continue to form and die off allowing new flowers to form again. To prolong flowering for as long as possible it’s important to dead-head the old flowers every few weeks.