Protecting and Maintaining Annual and Perennial Plants
For the most beautiful and vibrant display of annual and perennial plants in your outdoor beds and borders, maintenance is required. The amount of care may vary for different species, but there are virtually no care-free living specimens.
Locating the Flower Beds
To minimize care and make things easier when watering and feeding, locate together those flowers that need similar care. For instance, put those needing full sun together (in a sunny spot). If you are adding new beds, consider asking a landscape professional about the best location on your property.
Water according to the needs of most of the specimens. During the hottest days of summer, all things growing will need water. Those that grow in full sun may need a soaking once or twice a week or substantial water every day. Shade grown specimens may require less water.
Feeding is beneficial for all varieties during their growing season. Proper nutrients encourage growth and development and make blooms last longer.
Feed plants with regular fertilizer or with organic products. A side or top dressing of compost will promote growth. However, be sure to use care with homemade compost as it may be more powerful than you realize. Too much nitrogen in any form can create a large, beautiful foliage plant, but blooms may not develop without the right nutrients. Rest assured that your local landscaping professional knows how to feed the flowers.
Differences Between Annuals and Perennials
Sometimes, care for annuals is different than for perennials. As annuals complete their lifespan during the first year of growth, perennials can sometimes take a few years to develop optimum bloom. During this time of development, perennials will need food, water, and possibly, pruning.
Annual flowers put on a show for a season and are usually removed and replaced. Pansies planted in late winter may be replaced with Petunias in late spring. If the pansies remain in the ground, they produce seeds and finish their lifespan. Self-seeding annuals have their place in the landscape design but can quickly get out of hand. You may find the entire bed filled with them in coming years.
Shrubs and Trees
These are a few reasons why a regular visit from a landscape professional is best for maintaining plants in the flower bed. Year-round care for shrubs and trees is another reason. Flowering shrubs need pruning and shaping, but doing this at the wrong time can remove the blooms for a season.
Trees need pruning for shape when they are young. Dead and damaged branches must be removed from all trees before they become flying missiles during a strong storm. Maintaining your valuable investment in shade trees includes checking for pests.
Rely on knowledgeable landscape professionals for pruning and care at the right time for flowers, shrubs and trees. Consider a weekly or monthly maintenance plan to keep all the specimens in your yard looking their best.