The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry – this is very true of your summer planting plans. Finding dull spots in your flower beds where you thought you’d planted or had a plant unseated by a pets digging, can be a bit frustrating when the rest of your garden is at its beautiful summer best.
With everything else pretty much in full bloom, dull spots can be a magnet to your eye. That said, it is an easy fix as there is a whole host of bedding plants are available in garden centres and these flowering annuals will supply you with bright flowers all through the season.
Maintaining your flower beds
Prepare the soil as you would for any annual garden, by digging in an inch or so of organic matter and about two pounds of 5-10-10 per 100 square feet, or use encapsulated slow-release fertilisers for season-long feeding.
Many bedding plants come in light plastic cell packs nowadays and can be delivered to your door from the likes of Suttons, B&Q and Dobies. Plants are easily removed by pushing on the bottom of the individual cells. On no account should you pull on the stems of the plants. To do so is to risk severing the top from the bottom, and action not favourable to plant growth.
Try to plant on a cloudy, windless day or in the evening. If it’s hot, protect the little plant from the sun and wind of a couple of days. An upturned basket or shingles stuck in the ground to form a lean- to will help. I’ve even made tents of newspaper, weighting the edges with soil.
Watering the plants in with a solution of soluble organic fertiliser is a big help in keeping them actively growing. Leave a little basic around the plant to catch water, and keep the soil continuously moist.
As the summer goes on, sandy soils may run out of nitrogen. You’ll know it because plant growth will slow and the plants may go off color. Watch especially for yellowing lower leaves.
To replace the nitrogen, side dress with a bit of 10-6-4 or a liquid organic fertiliser or manure tea.
Give them a constant supply of nutrients. Keep their soil moist, and keep the weeds down. With that minimal care, bedding annuals will bloom their little hearts out for you all the way to frost.
If you found Flower beds – expert tips to fill the gaps with beautiful blooms helpful, you’ll find more seasonal gardening advice on our Gardening channel.Tags: flower beds, Gardening Last modified: July 19, 2023