Iíve been gardening at the same address for a long time. Early on I interspersed annuals among perennials and shrubs. There was plenty of room as the plants were small. As the garden filled in over the years I planted fewer annuals in the beds and found they werenít faring as well as they did early on.
At first, I was puzzled. Why were strategically placed wave petunias not spreading luxuriantly as they once had? The plants around them were doing fine. Finally, it occurred to me that the established perennials and shrubs required a different watering regimen than annuals with a small root system.
Most of our beds are watered using drip irrigation or low pressure sprinklers regulated by a garden timer. The fragile annuals werenít getting frequent enough sips of water. Running around hand watering a flower here and a flower there isnít my idea of fun filled gardening.
So, this year the majority of our annuals are in hanging baskets or large pots. I use good potting soil and ďplant diapersĒ -- hydro-mats that absorb water, then release it slowly to the plants. I buy it by the yard. Some of the larger pots are on the drip system and I hand water the rest, but much less frequently than in the past. For the complete article see the 07-16-2014 issue.
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