Posted by CENTURY 21 CUDDY on 3/24/2019

Picking out flowers to plant in your garden and around your home is no easy task. You’ll have to consider the hardiness of the plants, whether you want them to come back year after year, what colors complement your house, and so on.

 Most people just simply buy flowers that look pretty. And while you can get lucky and have healthy flowers that way, a better method is to think about what you’re looking for in a flower.

 In this article, we’re going to help you choose the right flowers for your home and lifestyle.

 Annuals, biennials, and perennials

One of the first things you should consider is the lifecycle of the flowers. If you don’t want to go through the trouble of choosing and planting new flowers every year or two, perennials may be the best choice for you. Over the long run, you can save money by planting and caring for perennials. However, in the short term, annuals tend to be cheaper to buy.

Planting perennials

If you do decide to go with perennials in your garden you’ll need to be careful about which ones you choose. Make sure to look up your plant hardiness zone and only buy flowers that can withstand the colder seasons in your region.

Furthermore, you’ll want to see if there is any special care required to keep your flowers coming back each year. Likely, you’ll have to spend a bit of time aerating and fertilizing your soil to maintain a supply of nutrients to your plants’ roots. Similarly, determine if there is any special care that you can provide in the winter to help the plants return to life next spring.

Planting annuals

Annuals tend to be some of the brightest and most beautiful flowers. Some of them, called “volunteers,” can sow their own seeds easily and return the next year with minimum work on your part.

You might also notice that annuals bloom throughout the season. That means you and you family and house guests have more time to marvel at the beautiful flowers they produce.

Some common annuals to plant are begonias, geraniums, marigolds, sunflowers and petunias. If you like to keep a variety.

Planting biennials

Like annuals, biennials will die after they bloom. The key difference is that they last for two years not one. During spring of the first year they will grow and stem but won’t bloom. The following spring is when biennials reach their peak.

 Just like annuals, biennials can sow their own seeds. However, some are easier to grow than others and you’ll want to encourage them with rich, aerated soil and plenty of water in early spring.

 Some common biennials include Black-eyed Susans, Sweet William, Forget-Me-Not, and some garden variety plants like fennel, carrot, and parsley.

 Pest-repelling plants

There’s more to flowers than just their ability to look and smell nice. Some plants have the ability to repel certain pests. 

Marigold can repel certain insects as well as rabbits, chives repel certain beetles and flies, petunias repel aphids (which can wreak havoc in your vegetable garden), and so on. 

If you have a pest problem and want to dissuade them from coming back next year, planting pest-repelling plants may be the best option for you.

Tags: Garden   flowers  
Categories: flowers   gardening  

Posted by CENTURY 21 CUDDY on 9/4/2016

Grow bags are a great way to have a moveable garden and to isolate large plants that would otherwise take up too much space in your raised beds. Gardener’s Supply Company (gardeners.com) sells attractive, heavy duty fabric bags in several colors and sizes that will allow you to expand your vegetable garden easily and conveniently. They are fun and easy to use and can be used for many years. They even fold flat if you empty them after the growing season is over. Potato grow bags are a clever and fun way to grow potatoes and the kids love to dig for them in the fall. Suggestion: buy seed potatoes at farm supply stores no later than April, as they sell out quickly. You do need to use seed potatoes, as regular grocery store potatoes are treated and won’t grow as well. Another effective to grow large vegetable plants, such as tomatoes, peppers and eggplant, is to use self-watering containers. Such containers can be obtained from Gardener’s Supply or you can purchase Grow Boxes at A Garden Patch (www.agardenpatch.com). The latter supplies a slow-release fertilizer patch that covers the soil for each container. In each case, the rectangular plastic container has a deep well on the bottom and it’s only a matter of keeping the well full, eliminating the need to water daily. The roots of the plants reach down into the well and, combined with the fertilizer on the top of the soil, happily thrive in a sunny location. The grow boxes are sturdy and can be reused from year to year. You only need to buy new Grow Patches for each new season. This is a highly successful method to raise all the produce you will need and then some. Your neighbors and family will thank you, as you will be surprised at the bounty of vegetables you will reap. One final note: don’t forget to water the containers each day, as they dry out more quickly than in ground gardens.

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