The Q&A Archives: Garden Full of Annuals

Question: Hi. I just planted a garden full of annuals and I'm wondering what happens after they die? They just never bloom again? Would I have to start all over again next spring? I'm confused...please help. I put all that work into my garden and it just seems a little depressing that I will lose my whole garden after the summer.

Answer: It is true - annual plants are those that grow, flower, set seed and die at the end of the growing season. There are cool season annuals and warm season annuals; cool season annuals perform best in cool weather and warm season annuals perform best in warm weather. The good news is that most annuals will reseed. To get the most from your annuals, cut off the dead flowers before they set seeds and annuals will usually produce a second flush of blooms. If you allow this second flush of flowers to produce seeds you can either collect the seeds to replant or you can allow them to spill on the ground and sprout up all on their own. This way you will have the same annuals in your garden next year. For more permanence, plant some perennials in your bed this spring and summer. They will stick around for 3 or more years and eventually you will be able to dig and divide them, increasing your stock of flowering plants. Annuals are typically used as accent plants; perennials as the backbone of the garden. So start integrating perennials into your annual bed and then plant annuals around the perennials. You'll always have something in bloom and lots of new plants will pop up in the bed. Best wishes with your garden!

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