|I am a novice gardener. Is it possible to buy compost, or what can I use in place of it? Second question, I would like to plant a few zinnia's in a small flower bed, how can I tell when I've watered them enough? Thanks! Megan|
|You can purchase organic matter of all kinds at most garden centers. Compost, aged-manure and peat moss are the most commonly sold materials. It doesn't really matter what organic material you use - all will enrich the soil and all will help the soil retain moisture. Choose whatever organic matter is available in your local area.|
Zinnias like to be watered deeply. Depending upon your soil, you can probably water your flower bed every 3-4 days during the growing season. A 10 minute soak is about right. To avoid disease problems, try to apply the water to the soil, not on the plants (no overhead watering). If you must use a sprinkler in the bed that will wet the tops of the plants, water in the morning so the plants have a chance to dry before nightfall. Best wishes with your new garden!