Avatar for CindySue
May 18, 2017 8:37 PM CST
Thread OP
Name: Three guesses...
Decatur, IL (Zone 6a)
Hiya! OK - I've never dealt with annuals. And aside from some laurel and hydrangeas that I intend to put in this year, I want some annuals - planted and potted. So, is there anything special I need to know about annuals?

We are clay but, apparently, here, there is a lot of rock as well. Which makes for a freaky sort of fast draining clay. Some rocks are pretty big so digging is going to be a chore but if I can stick with the keto stuff, I should have more than enough get-up-and-go for the job.

I've added a diagram and description of my little lot to my blog.
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May 18, 2017 9:02 PM CST
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River Twp, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Bee Lover Butterflies Birds I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Greenhouse Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Welcome to NGA, @CindySue .

Good things about annuals: some grow in sun, some in shade; they can give you blooms for the entire season; you can grow them in the ground or in pots, and change them out if they get sick or buggy or just "done for." They come in all sorts of colors. You can start them from seed -- often by just direct sowing -- or you can buy them as plants. Once the season ends you can pull them out and till or otherwise work up the area where they were growing. They can be grown without worrying about whether they can withstand the winter season.

Bad things about annuals: They don't come back the next year, unless they self-sow. hmmm -- can't think of much else bad to say about them.

There are LOTS of annuals to choose from -- that's probably the hardest part!

I can relate to the rocks in the ground -- we've probably dug enough rocks out over the years that we could have built a nice house. Using containers or raised beds can definitely make your life easier, but for growing annuals, as long as you can dig out big enough spots to place the plants, and then give them some regular fertilization (I like using liquid fertilizer in that situation, like Miracle Grow or anything similar), your plants will likely do fine.

I'm sure there will be lots of other people showing up with more ideas for you (and there is also a forum devoted specifically to annuals, if you want to check that out).

Happy gardening!
“Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight." ~ Albert Schweitzer
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Avatar for CindySue
May 19, 2017 1:29 AM CST
Thread OP
Name: Three guesses...
Decatur, IL (Zone 6a)
@Weedwhacker - so they're no different than perennials except they're "temporary"? Everything else is exactly the same? Choosing the plants, finding the right spot for them - everything?

Why did I think they'd be any different, I wonder? For some reason, in my head, "annual" = danger of invasion.


long irrelevant story warning -

The only annuals I am aware of either my mother or my grandmother ever planting were my mother's petunias. My grandmother called them "fire", as in "you're playing with fire" or "Got that fire started yet?" but we had them, en masse, every single year that I can remember - because they were the exact same color as her Iris (light purple), mom just loved them.

That's so strange because I never bothered to even look at annuals, aside from container plants, or to check to see if what I believed was true. That's just the way it was. I always thought my mom was so brave because she risked this huge, dreaded petunia invasion Rolling on the floor laughing . OMG! That's just crazy!

Cool! So I have this whole OTHER, MASSIVE group of plants available!! Aside from hydrangeas and the occasional surprise bloom that pops up spontaneously, when everything's just right, on a plant or shrub that doesn't flower, I've focused almost entirely on greenery. Greenery and hydrangeas.

I think I may have associated flowers, in general, with invasiveness, as well. Mom's iris would spread so much that there were seasons when it seemed she did nothing but dig and find homes for her overabundance of Iris. When I first moved in here, the narrow bed that extended out from the round bed where I put the boxwood and along the front of the porch was full of tulips which I love in a vase but don't like as a planting. I've been digging up tulips every year. Including the drought years. This year they were in the round bed with the boxwood. Last year I had one lone tulip right smack in the middle of the front yard. I wouldn't have ever known it was there it but mowing started early last year and the kid who did the first mowing saw it and mowed around it, LOL!

OK - so - annuals are not dangerous or evil and no special care need be taken and they don't need to be contained. Nothing special...good to know. Thanks @Weedwhacker!!
Last edited by CindySue May 19, 2017 1:43 AM Icon for preview
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May 19, 2017 7:59 AM CST
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River Twp, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Bee Lover Butterflies Birds I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Greenhouse Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Enjoys or suffers cold winters
LOL, Cindy -- no, they aren't generally dangerous! Green Grin!

I predict you are going to have a LOT of fun searching for the annual flowers that you want to grow -- Enjoy!
“Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight." ~ Albert Schweitzer
C/F temp conversion
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May 19, 2017 8:16 AM CST
Name: Celia
West Valley City, Utah (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Irises Plant Identifier Hummingbirder Birds
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Butterflies Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Just beware that some reseed like crazy. Do your research is all I can say. Thumbs up
Avatar for CindySue
May 19, 2017 8:29 AM CST
Thread OP
Name: Three guesses...
Decatur, IL (Zone 6a)
Zencat said:Just beware that some reseed like crazy. Do your research is all I can say. Thumbs up


@Zencat Blinking Do their descriptions indicate which do and which don't?!?
Last edited by CindySue May 19, 2017 8:30 AM Icon for preview
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May 19, 2017 9:37 AM CST
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River Twp, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Bee Lover Butterflies Birds I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Greenhouse Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Calendula and Johnny Jump-Ups (which look like small pansies) come to my mind -- I don't look on it as a bad thing (free plants!). Easy to remove unwanted seedlings with a swipe of a hoe. Shrug!

Also, "deadheading" your plants (removing the flowers as they die) will prevent them from forming seeds (and also encourage the plants to put out more flowers).

Celia ( @Zencat ) did you have any particular ones in mind?
“Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight." ~ Albert Schweitzer
C/F temp conversion
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May 19, 2017 9:53 AM CST
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: Ukraine Dahlias I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Houseplants Tomato Heads Garden Ideas: Level 1
Plant Identifier Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Cleome reseed to an unbelievable extent:



Thumb of 2017-05-19/pirl/d80abf
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May 19, 2017 10:07 AM CST
Name: Celia
West Valley City, Utah (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Irises Plant Identifier Hummingbirder Birds
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Butterflies Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Morning glories for one. California poppies, sunflowers...
Avatar for CindySue
May 19, 2017 11:56 AM CST
Thread OP
Name: Three guesses...
Decatur, IL (Zone 6a)
@Weedwhacker - I was thinking about Arkwright Ruby Violas for the backyard. They like the shade and I was wondering if shade would actually contain them? Apparently, Johnny Jump-Ups prefer some shade too, right? Do you know if the line between shade and full sun will contain them? Because, THAT would be AWESOME!
Last edited by CindySue May 19, 2017 12:36 PM Icon for preview
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May 19, 2017 11:59 AM CST
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Plant Identifier
Really depends on your location.
In the deep south, most morning glories will make the garden unusable.
Heavenly blue and moonflower are exceptions.
Cleome are seedy, cherry tomatoes and physalis come up all over the yard.... & impatiens, If you have rain, or an irrigation system, impatiens can be difficult to exterminate.
And let's not forget 4 o'clock...

At your house, might be a different list.
Avatar for CindySue
May 19, 2017 12:24 PM CST
Thread OP
Name: Three guesses...
Decatur, IL (Zone 6a)
pirl said:Cleome reseed to an unbelievable extent:



Ah - I will definitely avoid those as they don't appear to be my cuppa but I wouldn't mind something reseeding on "the landing pad" which pretty much gets full sun all day and hot as a pistol.
Avatar for CindySue
May 19, 2017 12:26 PM CST
Thread OP
Name: Three guesses...
Decatur, IL (Zone 6a)
Zencat said:Morning glories for one.


@zencat: Oooh - morning glories...I could build them something interesting to climb, out on the landing pad! That would not be boring. Full sun, fast draining rock and clay - aka what some might consider "poor soil". And I could talk to my new neighbor and see if I could let them climb down the south retaining wall - or would they get all in his yard? I seem to remember, when I was a kid, morning glories running through the bean fields and tripping me, but I always thought they were really pretty. Shrug!

@Weedwhacker: Do you think some violas - something like Johnny Jump-Ups - would grow up between and through some creeping morning glory?
Avatar for CindySue
May 19, 2017 12:34 PM CST
Thread OP
Name: Three guesses...
Decatur, IL (Zone 6a)
Could reseeding be considered invasive?
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May 19, 2017 12:39 PM CST
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: Ukraine Dahlias I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Houseplants Tomato Heads Garden Ideas: Level 1
Plant Identifier Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Yes, the MG's will spread seeds far and wide. We grew them on the tuteur one year, ripped them out but seeds are viable for 80 years (at least) and we still pull out seedlings though they were removed 12 years ago.

How about Gaillardia? Scroll down for photos - many varieties:
https://garden.org/search/inde...
Thumb of 2017-05-19/pirl/31cdbc
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May 19, 2017 12:41 PM CST
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: Ukraine Dahlias I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Houseplants Tomato Heads Garden Ideas: Level 1
Plant Identifier Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Celebrating Gardening: 2015
If reseeding overtakes native plants it could be considered invasive. There isn't a class for "reseeding to a maddening amount" causing the gardener to regret ever planting the offender.
Avatar for CindySue
May 19, 2017 12:53 PM CST
Thread OP
Name: Three guesses...
Decatur, IL (Zone 6a)
pirl said:Yes, the MG's will spread seeds far and wide. We grew them on the tuteur one year, ripped them out but seeds are viable for 80 years (at least) and we still pull out seedlings though they were removed 12 years ago.


Does that apply to all zones? I see you're in 7a...please say no, LOL

pirl said:How about Gaillardia? Scroll down for photos - many varieties:


I've been looking at the suggestions and it appears that annuals are pretty much...well...short? I think I'm leaning toward vines with something tall for them to climb on...for the hot spots and shade loving reseeders for low, ground cover applications on the shady side of the back yard. I might need to start a new thread as I am getting an idea of what I want to try...
Avatar for CindySue
May 19, 2017 1:02 PM CST
Thread OP
Name: Three guesses...
Decatur, IL (Zone 6a)
@pirl What about "moonflower"? Do they spread like MGs?
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May 19, 2017 1:28 PM CST
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: Ukraine Dahlias I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Houseplants Tomato Heads Garden Ideas: Level 1
Plant Identifier Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Celebrating Gardening: 2015
I only grew them once and didn't have the self-seeding problem but I'd still be very cautious.
Avatar for CindySue
May 19, 2017 1:41 PM CST
Thread OP
Name: Three guesses...
Decatur, IL (Zone 6a)
pirl said:I only grew them once and didn't have the self-seeding problem but I'd still be very cautious.


I'm guessing that if you didn't have reseeding problems in zone 7a then I'm not likely to have them in 5b (or 6a).

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