Now is the time to plant early spring flowers. Flowering annuals live for one growing season and are too tender to survive a cold winter. But there are some tough, hardy annuals that tolerate a light frost.
Pansies and snapdragons love warm days and cool nights. You can plant them after the last hard freeze when the soil has thawed and dried out, and you’ll have blooming color.
How do you know if the soil is ready for planting? Scoop up a handful and squeeze it. Then drop it onto the ground. If the clump breaks apart, the soil is dry enough to work. If the soil stays in the shape of a muddy ball, wait a while before you dig. If it’s too cold to the touch, it’s probably too cold for the flowers.
How to Plant Hardy Annuals:
- Read. Before you buy any flowers, read the plant tags. Make sure you can give them a spot with as much sun as they need. In general, most flowering annuals like a lot of sun, though pansies can survive in partial shade.
- Clear. Clean up and clear rocks, weeds and grass from your garden area.
- Combine. Work lots of compost, peat moss or other organic matter into your soil.
- Dig. Use a trowel to dig individual holes, or a shovel to dig a bed for a lot of plants.
- Check. Look back at the tags on your plants to see how far apart to space them.
- Loosen. Remove the plants from their pots and gently loosen the roots.
- Plant. Plant the flowers at the same depth they were growing in their containers.
- Replace. Replace the soil and gently pat it firm around the roots.
- Water. Water thoroughly and feed with a plant food blended for flowers.
- Mulch. Add 2 to 3 inches of mulch around the plant.