How to Plant an Annuals Garden

Maintaining Annuals Month by Month

The following chart lists the various gardening tasks to be done each year.

When they should be done depends on the climate in your area. This month-by-month chart indicates when each task should be performed based on the different average annual minimum temperatures in North America. Because conditions can differ, and dates of first and last freezes of the season vary each year, these are only approximate guides, but they will provide you with a general outline for your garden year.
Tasks to Be Done by Average Annual Minimum Temperature
-50°F to -30°F -30°F to -10°F
-10°F to 10°F
10°F to 40°F
1. Plan garden for coming season*
2. Order seeds*
3. Buy seed starting supplies*
4. Take cuttings*
5. Start slower-growing seeds indoors*
6. Prick off seedlings
7. Start faster-growing seeds indoors*
8. Prick off later seedlings*
9. Lay out new beds
10. Take soil samples if not done in the fall
11. Adjust pH if not done during the winter
12. Add conditioners to soil
13. Add fertilizers to soil as recommended by testing lab
14. Till soil
15. Purchase and plant nontender bedding plants
16. Harden off home-grown bedding plants*
17. Lay mulch on beds for bedding plants. (See step 24 for direct seed sowing.)
18. Sow seeds directly in outdoor beds. Feed as needed until seeds sprout. (Do not allow them to become dry.)*
19. Purchase tender bedding plants
20. Pinch and plant tender bedding plants
21. Plant out tender bulbs
22. Sprinkle pre-emergent weed killer on soil between bedding plants. (Caution: Do not use with direct-sown seeds or young plants.)
23. Thin seedlings from direct-sown seeds*
24. Lay mulch when seedlings reach 4 to 6 inches.
25. Put in plant supports
26. Deep water as needed
27. Fertilize with general plant food (sidedress or water on)
28. Weed as needed
29. Remove dead flowers, as needed
30. Control pests and diseases, as needed
31. Plant biennial seeds for next year*
32. Take cuttings
33. Pick flowers for drying
34. Harvest mature seeds
35. Pot plants to bring indoors for the winter
36. Protect beds from early frosts
37. Dig and store tender bulbs
38. Pull out dead plants; destroy or compost
39. Make notes for next year's garden
40. Apply mulch to depleted and bare spots for winter
41. Take soil samples
42. Clean and sharpen tools; store for winter
43. Adjust pH according to soil test recommendations
*Applies only to those plants that are started from seed. Does not apply to purchased bedding plants.

You now know what you need to do at any time of the year, from selecting annuals, planting annuals, and maintaining annuals in order to enjoy your annual flower garden.

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