Now that Halloween has come and gone, it's officially the "cool season annuals planting time." I realize many people may have already planted some of the standard cool season annuals like pansies and snapdragons, but the ones that will look the best from November through January are the ones that have been and will be planted from Halloween going forward.
For added security in knowing that your cool season annuals will not only survive but thrive, I've always recommended my own "Flower Planting Technique."
Frankly, this technique works not just for annuals, but for all perennials and even small flowering shrubs. This regimen has worked for me for close to a dozen years and has never failed me. It ensures good soil for the delicate roots, an organic rich environment to encourage even more roots and finally a controlled release blooming plant food that should last for at least three months.
Here's how I work the technique. First, I push aside as much mulch as possible from the area or color-pocket I intend to plant. I bring in some fresh Rose Soil and mix in a couple of inches to the already raised bed. I take the annual out of its four-inch pot and dip the root ball into a solution of Medina Hasta Gro liquid plant food. Then, plant it delicately into the new Rose Soil amended area. Before you bring the mulch back into place (or before you add new mulch) you then side-dress the area with a little bit of Nelson's Color Star the slow-release blooming plant food of choice for me. (There are other controlled-release blooming plant foods on the market, such as Carl Pool Colorscapes and Fertilome's Start-N-Grow, but none are more readily available than Color Star). Then, the mulch goes back into place. And as long as these color-pockets stay consistently watered, you will have great results from now until February 1st without having to spray them down every two weeks with water-soluble plants foods.
So, besides the flowers/color/annuals you want to plant, here's a quick list of the important things you must have:
Rose Soil - At least one bag per flat of color; DO NOT USE POTTING SOIL Medina Hasta Gro -- Or any liquid organic fertilizer as a "transplant solution" Nelson Color Star - Or any slow-release blooming plant food.
And I will put all of these goodies in your hand for free, if you print this email tip out and bring it to me Sat., Nov. 11 at Buds and Blossoms Nursery. We are doing a GardenLine Remote at this Nursery on that Saturday, and it's located on Cypress North Houston, just west of Huffmeister. If you bring this tip sheet to us, you will receive one bag of Professional Rose Soil from Living Earth Technology, one jar of Nelson Plant Food, and 4-5 packets of Medina Hasta Gro which will make up to 5 gallons of transplant solution. And you'll be at one of the great garden centers in the Houston area that grows some of the best quality cool season annuals ever.
Until our next issue, here's to great gardening from the GardenLine, heard exclusively weekend mornings 8 a.m.-noon on TALKRADIO 950 KPRC.
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