Common Q&A on planting, fertilizing and maintaining annuals.
Q: What type of soil should I use in my containers?
A: Soil mixes for containers should always retain moisture, while also providing adequate drainage. Most container mixes include a combination of peat, perlite, vermiculite. Some will also contain a small amount of slow release fertilizer. Greenland stocks a selection of these mixes, along with Sea Soil Container Mix. This organic compost retains moisture on hot sunny days while providing plants with valuable nutrients.
Q: How often do I have to fertilize my annuals? What fertilizer do I use?
A: Annuals are like hungry teenagers, requiring a great amount of nutrients in their short life span. To encourage consistent new growth and blooms fertilize your annuals with a high phosphorous fertilizer such as 15-30-15 or liquid kelp.
Q: When can I plant annuals outside? I’ve heard about ‘hardening off’ plants? What is that?
A: Most annuals should not be planted outdoors until soil has warmed considerably, and evening temperatures remain above 8ºC continuously. Hardening off refers to slowly exposing annuals to the temperature, wind and light outdoors. Do this by placing annuals outdoors as long as daytime temperatures are above 8ºC. Place the plants in a sheltered spot for a few hours each day until they are ready to be planted out permanently.
Q: Do all flowers have to be deadheaded?
A: To encourage tidy, compact growth and ensure repeat blooms, any flowering annuals should be deadheaded, or pinched. Simply trim off dead blooms and discard.
Q: Can I reuse soil in my containers year after year?
A: Because annuals use a large amount of nutrients, the top 10-12” of the soil in your containers should be replaced annually. This is where the majority of the bedding plants’ root system will be.