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Deciding what kind of garden you'd like to grow

Growing Annual Plants

Thornius the Garden Gnome

Annual plants are by definition plants whose life cycle lasts only one year, from seed to blooms to seed. Removing the flowers as they fade prolongs the blooming cycle, but if left to produce seeds, many annuals will readily reseed themselves. Annuals are usually available in little starter 'six packs' or in 4 inch 'color spots'. They are an excellent way to create a great splash of summer color in the garden, or for long blooming annual baskets.

h2>Growing Perennial Plants

Perennials, like old friends, return year after year, growing in size and stature until they reach their full maturity. Although they live on longer, many perennials lose their vigor after 3-4 years, and should be replaced. Most perennial plants can be divided to produce new plants, or they can be grown from seeds or cuttings. Perennials are available as 4 inch starters, or in gallon size or larger pots.

The steps that it takes to plant annuals and perennials are basically the same, but with a few variances. Refer to plant group pages for specific requirements and cultural practices for your plants such as USDA planting zones, soil, sun and water requirements, ppropagation methods, etc.

When you plant a perennial, you must consider that your plant will be in the same spot for several years. As such, the preparation of the ground must be more complete. Annuals on the other hand will do just fine in any reasonably rich soil, with a minimum of feeding.

Growing a Vegetable Garden

Like the plants you will grow in your flower garden, there are annual vegetables and perennial vegetables. Most fruits and vegetables require full sun and are usually grown from seed. Otherwise they are like growing any other plant. Check the fruit and vegetable planting depths, plant and row spacing, etc. as well as the pH requirements for each variety of veggie you'd like to grow, and create a planting plan before you start!

Garden Growing Tips

By properly preparing the planting area, the roots of your new plants will adjust and begin to grow more rapidly and deeper. This, along with mulching helps to reduce the need for frequent watering. It is important to always 'deep water' your plants rather than a light sprinkling, especially during the hot summer months. Most annuals and perennials, with the exception of drought resistant plants, need at least an inch of water each week to thrive.

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