Ready, Set, Plant!
Pete Moss here telling you, yes, it’s okay, you don’t have to wait another week, go ahead and plant flowers outside!
Well, historically it’s okay. No, I am not a weather genius and I cannot predict with certainty that we’re all done with frost and cold, but we should be. Mother’s Day weekend along the Colorado front-range has always been the kick-off weekend for planting annual flowers. By then we should be done with freezing weather. This year we hardly saw any winter weather at all, so you could have planted on St Patrick’s day. Okay – I exaggerate to make a point.
So, Pete, what should I plant? Well there are many determining factors, but basically there are two types of flowers, perennials and annuals.
Perennials are okay to plant a bit earlier. They’re tougher, they live year-after-year and require little care. Note the little care, not no care. All plants take some care, but, compared to buying annuals every year, planting them, seeing them flourish then, digging them up in fall, perennials are a wonderful choice. You can get many native flowers that do extremely well year after year. They survive drought years better. They attract bees and butterflies better. Still, you will have to thin them, cut back the dead stalks, weed and care for perennials. They also will bloom once, on average all summer. The plants look nice, but don’t look for perennials to be super colorful for four months. Perennials can die off over winters like we have just had. A long, dry winter is tough on all plants.
Annuals are blooming fools. They go crazy with blooms all summer long. Annuals grow quickly, cover areas well and are very showy. They’re more finicky with water and with heat. Annuals will not withstand a frost or freeze. Annuals are cheaper, plentiful and they transplant very easily. Think petunias and marigolds and realize how many of these you’ll see all summer long. Annuals do very well in pots and planters, where perennials will not do well. Hanging baskets filled with annuals can be especially showy and make your deck or patio look great!
Then there’s the Pansy. Pansies are from the viola family and they are tough little flowers. They may go out in the colder weather, they withstand hard growing conditions and they just keep on flowering. So why is it that we call a person who is not tough a pansy? Pete, you ask odd questions.
The helpful folks at your local Ace Hardware store can help you get everything you need to plant. From a shovel to soils, fertilizers, gloves and the flowers themselves. So, what are you waiting for? Stop reading this and get outside. Go play in the dirt and plant some flowers!