Garden Guides on Annual Flowers

Annuals…tiny seed to lovely flowers in one

For quick cover and decoration of bare
areas where perennials have winter killed, and in numerous
“nooks and crannies” throughout the garden, annuals
are in the number one spot. In perennial beds and borders,
annuals can be used to brighten dull areas and blend
together various perennials. In beds by themselves,
annuals can often be the beauty spot of the summer home
garden. Some annuals are adaptable for use as temporary
hedges. All of these uses, plus supplying the home with
an abundance of cut flowers, put annuals in a key position.

SEVERAL CLASSES … Hardy Annuals .
. .
Seeds of this group are able to withstand the
rigors of winter out of doors light protection. Many
of these are self-seeding and thus are “perennial in
nature,” in that they can be expected to repeat their
growth another year. The seeds of these plants can be
sown early in the spring. Some plants in this group
are Annual Poppies, Larkspurs, Calendula, Sweet peas,
and Sweet Alyssums.

Tender Annuals . . . These plants
will not stand cold at any time and seed should not
be sown out of doors until all danger of frost is over.
Typical of this class are Marigolds, Ageratum, Annual
Chrysanthemum, Candytuft, and Zinnias.

Slow Annuals. A long germination
period and a long growing time before bloorning is characteristic
of this group. These annuals give best results if plants
are started by sowing the seed in pots, flats, cold
frames, or hotbeds early in the season and later transplanting
into the garden after warm weather has come. Among these
are such plants as China Asters, Petunias, Snapdragons,
and Helichrysum.

Preparing the soil for Annuals A finely
pulverized seedbed is essential. The soil should be
spaded to a depth of 6 to 8 inches, incorporating fertilize
into and throughout this depth. Use 1 pound of fertilizer
for each 25 square feet of area. Finely pulverize the
soil and make a smooth surface before seeding.

SOWING THE SEED . . . Either broadcast
the seed or sprinkle in shallow rows as required by
the particular plants. Cover very lightly. A general
rule is to cover 3 times the seed width. This, of course,
is hard to measure, but the proper covering can usually
be secured by sifting fine soil through a box or pan
with a fine wire mesh on the bottom. After covering,
tamp the soil with a flat board or block to get close
seed-soil contact. Watering, before the seed germinates
and when the plants are small, requires careful attention
to avoid disturbing the young tender roots. Watering
during this time is important. It can best be accomplished
by laying burlap over the area and sprinkling with a
fine mist. This procedure, in general, is applicable
for seeding of annual plants whether in flats, cold
frames, hot-beds, or in the garden. Below is a list
of popular annuals:

Giant Zinnias
Marigold (yellow)
Marigold (gold)
Blue Salvia
Lilliput Zinnia
Aster (in variety)
Bachelor Button
Sweet Alyssurn

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