Gardeners look forward to the bright, instant flash of colour annual flowering plants bring to their planters and flower beds. The number of cultivars available to the home or commercial gardener is truly abundant.
To ensure the success of your newly purchased planting materials, it is important to keep them well watered before and after planting. A cool overcast day is ideal, when transferring young ornamentals to their new environment. A hot sunny day will cause additional shock to transplants, leaving plants wilted or scorched. Soil should be tilled up and moist prior to planting. If the soil is excessively heavy or sandy, compost or peat can be incorporated.
These pre-planting additions will aid in the development of new roots. Slow release granular fertilizers can be added at this time. When it comes time to remove plants from their cell packs, loosen or slightly score the roots, this will stimulate growth and spread. If roots are not stimulated they will grow and continue to circle them selves causing reduced over all vigour.
Transplants should be planted level with the soil. If annuals are planted too deep rot can occur and if the root ball is left slightly exposed then plant will dry out excessively. The soil should be lightly tamped and watered throughly.
Water soluble fertilizers can be added after planting, if pre-planting fertilizers have not been previously added. Fertilizers for flowering plants should be high in phosphorus, this is represented by the middle number in a fertilizer ratio. These ratios are always printed on the packaging of any fertilizer.
The single most important factor to ensure the survival of annual plantings is to keep them well watered during their initial establishment. Annual transplants have to be watered daily unless it is raining adequately.