How to Plant Annuals

How to Plant Annuals

Part of Ep. 302 It's Planting Time!

Learn how to plant annuals with these tips from Master Gardener Doris Kistler.  Doris demonstrates how to prepare the soil and how to get the young plants out of the cell packs without harming them.

Premiere date: Apr 30, 1995

TRANSCRIPT+
Wisc Gardener Transcript: 

Shelley Ryan:

Here's Verbena Imagination again. We showed you what it looked like after it's been in the ground for a couple months. Now we'll show you how to properly put it in the ground. I'm with master gardener Doris Kistler in her Middleton garden. We're going to plant annuals. Doris, how do you use annuals in your yard here?

 

Doris Kistler:

Shelley, I love annuals. I use them in containers on the decks and porches. I use them in perennial borders to add a splash of color. For example, right here we have a shrub border. I can use annuals to change the color from one year to the next.

 

Shelley Ryan:

Sure, how do we start?

 

Doris Kistler:

What we have here, I've already dug the hole. We have a very clay soil, so what I like to do is to add a little compost and peat mixture, to give the plant an environment that's a little more conducive to strong root growth.

 

Shelley Ryan:

It's kind of hard to grow through solid clay.

 

Doris Kistler:

That's right.

 

Shelley Ryan:

This is good organic material. Then we have to take the plant out of the cell pack.

 

Doris Kistler:

Yes, and we want to do this very carefully. These things are still tender and young. I just put them in my hand and gently tap on the bottom.

 

Shelley Ryan:

You don't grab it by the stem or the leaves and yank it.

 

Doris Kistler:

No, we want to be careful with it. You'll notice that the roots are starting to circle on this one. This is not what we call being badly rootbound, but it is a little rootbound.

 

Shelley Ryan:

It's getting there.

 

Doris Kistler:

I would, just very carefully, loosen the roots a little.

 

Shelley Ryan:

So that they'll grow out instead of in a circle.

 

Doris Kistler:

Yes, because if we put it in the hole like this, it's going to continue to circle around and we won't have a strong, beautiful plant. I'm going to put it in the hole at about the same level that it was in the pot.

 

Shelley Ryan:

And you pull the soil in around it.

 

Doris Kistler:

Yes.

 

Shelley Ryan:

You're going to use the good soil for this.

 

Doris Kistler:

I'm going to use the good soil.

 

Shelley Ryan:

Okay, so you just kind of gently nestle it. Do you push real hard, or do you just gently put it in there.

 

Doris Kistler:

Once I get all my soil in, I'm going to tamp it down.

 

Shelley Ryan:

A little bit, but not step on it.

 

Doris Kistler:

Yes, because we want the roots to make contact.

 

Shelley Ryan:

Okay, then do you put this mulch you've got around here back over it?

 

Doris Kistler:

Yes, that helps conserve the moisture.

 

Shelley Ryan:

And keep weeds down, too.

 

Doris Kistler:

It certainly does.

 

Shelley Ryan:

It's been kind of wet today. Would you water this?

 

Doris Kistler:

Yes, because the soil we added in was very dry, so I will water it today, and water it for the next few days if it doesn't rain.

Shelley Ryan:

To get it established. Then we'll just repeat this pattern throughout this bed.

 

Doris Kistler:

Certainly.

 

Shelley Ryan:

Great, thanks Doris. Next up, some plants you may not want to find in your garden.

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