Choosing the Right Annual For The Right Spot
Every year when it comes time to plant your annuals there a few things you need to consider. The location of where you are planting, is the danger of frost past, what kind of irrigation system you are dealing with, what kinds of annuals and what sort of feel you want your garden bed to have.
Before you can even make any decisions about the colors and flowers you want to use you need to consider the location of your garden. For example, if you live in Michigan you need to know that Michigan has hot and dry summers, and late spring frosts. In this case you would want to pick an annual that can handle a light frost, such as marigolds, or begonias and can also handle the very hot and dry summer weather. The annual should hold up in extreme heat, but remember that all annuals need to be watered regularly, not over watered or you will just have dead annuals.
Is the spot a dry shade, wet shade, dry sun, wet sun, somewhere in between?
You need to know how much sun this location gets. Is it morning sun which is cooler or is it afternoon sun which is more brutal?
Does the spot get 6 hours of sun or less…because if it gets less than 6 hours, a full sun plant will not thrive. You are better off with a partial sun/shade choice.
So the next thing you want to consider is what kind of irrigation system do you have. If you have one that is professionally installed and basically waters the whole bed, then just make sure you adjust it to water only about 3 or 4 days a week for about half an hour.
Plants do not need water every day! In fact their roots need to dry out just a little so that they are encouraged to grow and reach for the water. If you water a plant too much it will surely die as if you never watered it at all.
Perhaps you do not have an irrigation system and will be watering by hand. Well that is something to consider as well. You will need to choose an annual that can go a few days without water in an emergency…like if you go away for a day or two. Find out from your local nursery what kind of watering is recommended for your particular region. They are usually very helpful and knowledgable.
Once you have considered all these factors and are at the flower store reading all the labels about Sun, Partial Sun, Shade…you are ready to think about the ways you want to combine your annuals.
It is really up to you, but consider that you may want the taller ones in the back. And to pick something that fills in around the other plants nicely and quickly, like a potatoe vine or some such thing. This will ultimately help to shade the bottom of the plants and help with water retention which will be good for the root systems.
Some people like a monochromatic garden and other people like all different colors…it is really about what you personally prefer. Once you have this part figured out you can add some cool garden things. Have fun and plan a little first to save some money later!