Fourth of July marks the time of the year nurseries and garden centers start putting annuals on sale.
I wouldn’t buy a plant anywhere else at this time of the year, I know that the nurseries have kept the plants watered and that’s important.
Normally I buy my plants in flats to save money, but the bigger pots have been drastically reduced and I can try some really cool plants for next to nothing.
Since the plants are in big pots they offer instant color for a fraction of the price. The newest varieties and most interesting plants are often sold in three inch or bigger pots, so it’s also a good chance to try something different.
I bought Duranta ‘Gold Edge.’ I’ve never grown the species, but it sure looks cool.
I also found a really cool salvia called ‘Wendy’s Wish.’ It’s an annual in our climate, but has woody stems and beautiful, unique flowers.
Take a trip to your local nursery and get some great plants that will last for months, well into fall.
Roses have a reputation for being fussy, but they are pretty easy to grow. Most need full sun, but there are varieties like Knockout that will bloom with only about six hours of sun.
‘White Out’ is the white version, ‘Sunny Knockout’ is yellow and has a nice fragrance too.
Flower Carpet Roses are another variety that are tough as nails. They are low growing, don’t need spraying and have pretty blooms.
‘Liv Tyler’ is very fragrant and an old fashioned double flower. This is a hybrid tea variety so it needs more care than the other two.
I use Serenade to deal with fungal issues and feed all the plants Rosetone once a month.
We all have our favorite plants and over the years I’ve discovered many that are real winners.
Begonias are easy to grow and there’s one that’s at the top of my list for the last couple seasons. ‘Bonfire’ has trumpet shaped orange blooms and a cascading form. I couldn’t imagine my containers without this plant.
There are beautiful double pink tuberous begonias and also one like ‘Gryphon’ that only puts on foliage. It makes a great contrast to something in flower.
We usually think of cannas as giants in the garden topped with bright red blooms. ‘Tropical Yellow’ is only a few feet tall and has wonderful yellow flowers with flecks of red.
‘Pineapple’ coleus is another plant grown for it’s foliage and it can really light up a shady corner.
Caladiums are another shade lover that will make any container into something special, I love the plants with red speckles on the leaves.
Monarda or Bee Balm is usually red, but ‘Grand Parade’ is a pretty purple. this plant will come back year after year with more vigor each season.
There are two perennial coreopsis I love ‘Cosmic Eye’ and ‘Golden Gain.’
Salvia ‘Marcus’ is a great, long blooming perennial. If you continue to deadhead the plant, it will bloom most of the summer.
All these plants came from Hahn Nursery in Ross, give them a call for more information or directions 412-635-7475.
If you’re like most gardeners there are plants that are supposed to proudly stand tall that fall over for one reason or another. If you know a certain plant has a tendency to droop, stake it before it falls.
If you wait, the plant will never look right, but trust me, I stake plants after they’ve fallen, that’s just part of gardening.
I love those cheap green bamboo stakes offered at nurseries. I’ll place them around the edges of the plant and weave fishing line between them to support the plant.
There are lots of other way to support plants. In the vegetable garden, vining crops like cucumbers and squash will happily grow vertically. It saves space, prevents fungal diseases and keep the plants away from the pests.
One thing for sure, when it comes to tomatoes, don’t bother with those little store bought cages, make your own out of concrete re-enforcing wire. Just cut them into five foot segments and make a cylindrical cage out of them. I always push a wooden stake into the ground an attach the cage to it. Some gardeners use rebar, which is fine.
These cages will support the plants all season and leave room to pick the fruit at the end of the season.