Gardening Tips from Hershey Gardens: Planting Summer Annuals
National Garden Clubs has declared June 4-10, 2017, National Garden week. And what better way to honor the art of gardening than with some gardening tips? Early June is the perfect time to plant summer annuals, so now is the time to guarantee color in your plant beds and shrubbery borders all summer long. For those who don’t have a garden, summer annuals also look great in containers, provided they’re in an area that gets lots of sun.
Ready to dig in? Here are a few tips on planting summer annuals from the horticulture experts at Hershey Gardens:
- Make sure the area gets lots of sun. Although some do well with limited amounts of sun, most summer annuals thrive on sunlight. Check with your local gardening center to see which varieties will do well for the amount of sunlight your landscape receives.
- Make sure soil is loose and aerated. Hershey Gardens’ horticulture staff rototills the beds to ensure that the soil is loose and ready for planting. Loose soil allows for effortless planting and helps the roots absorb moisture better.
- Take some time to lay out your plants to ensure that your vision for a colorful bed meets your expectations. From the very tall Banana plant to the shorter Ageratum, summer annuals come in all shapes and sizes—and colors—so do a little planning in advance. Beds look best with tall-growing plants in the back and more ground-hugging plants in the front. For containers, taller plants can be used to add height to the center, surrounded by other, shorter varieties.
- Mulch. Rather than planting the plant plugs first then mulching, Hershey Gardens horticulture staff mulches the bed before planting. Planting before mulching can result in the plants potentially getting buried with mulch.
- Using a garden trowel, create a cavity in the dirt that is as deep as the plug. When covering the roots up with soil, pack the soil lightly around the plant. Lightly packing the soil allows for the roots to better absorb moisture.
- Don’t plant too close to the edge of a bed: lawn mowers don’t know the difference between tall grass and a beautiful summer annual, and it’s easy to catch an annual in the lawn mower if it’s too close to the edge.
- Water every other day for the first two weeks to ensure root growth. Once the annual is established, then water twice a week. Depending on weather, containers should be watered daily.
- Fertilizing once a week will guarantee robust plants that are full of blooms.
- Sit back and enjoy the annuals bringing color to your patio or garden all summer long.
Rather spend your time out of the dirt? Visitors to Hershey Gardens come July can see more than 10,000 summer annuals in all their glory—without ever having to pick up a gardening trowel. Some varieties featured this year in the Seasonal Display Garden include Dahlia 'Figaro Orange Shades,' Gerbera Daisy 'Terra Cotta Shades,' Egyptian Star Flower (Pentas) 'Graffiti Pink' and many more!
Hershey Gardens is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Monday, September 4 and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. the rest of the year. For ticketing information and a complete listing of events, please visit HersheyGardens.org.