Ideas & Inspiration

10-Minute Ideas to Get the Most Out of Your Annuals

Choose the Best Soil
Choose the Best Soil

Start with high-quality potting mix like Miracle-Gro. It’s soilless, which means it contains perlite, peat moss and a wetting agent but no traditional soil. Choose garden soil for in-ground flower beds.

Boost the Soil
Boost the Soil

Potting mix should be refreshed each year. If you’re not replacing the potting mix, enhance it with compost, perlite and peat moss and a bit of plant food. Fertilizer in potting mix loses its strength after six months.

Cover with Mulch
Cover with Mulch

Finish beds with a dressing of mulch, and containers with a layer of sheet moss. Just like a freshly made bed looks best, tucking in annuals with a natural blanket gives a finished and consistent look. To use sheet moss, fill a Homer bucket with water and soak the sheet moss before draping it on top of the container.

Pinch and Prune
Pinch and Prune

You’ll get more blooms on stronger stems if you pinch and prune early and deadhead during the season. Use pruning snips to make the job easier, being sure to clean them when you’re done.

Select Cut Flowers
Select Cut Flowers

Choose blooms that will make good cut flowers that you can enjoy inside or on your front porch. Zinnias, with their long stems, are a natural choice. Other solid selections include marigolds, calendula, asters, scabiosa, salvia, snapdragon and California poppy.

Ask Neighbors for Help
Ask Neighbors for Help

Planning some time away from your garden? Remember to ask a friend or neighbor to check on your plants and stop by to water while you’re gone. (And return the favor when they’re out of town.)