Answer: I garden in the hot Southwest, so I understand your issue. These annuals take heat and sun and offer lots of variety in colors and sizes: sunflowers, zinnia, cosmos, gaillardia, petunia, salvia, vinca, tithonia, black-eyed Susan, portulaca, celosia, globe amaranth, verbena, four o?clock, succulents of all kinds, and lisianthus. To help the soil retain moisture, start by incorporating some organic matter into the garden bed, then plant your annuals and perennials, and finish up by spreading 3-4" of organic mulch material over the bare soil. The organic soil amendments and the organic mulch over the soil will slow water evaporation and help the soil retain just the right moisture to make your plants happy.
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