The KPRC Radio Gardenline Tip By Randy Lemmon For 09-23-04 Printer-Friendly Version
Why Are Cool Season Annuals Already For Sale? (Even though it’s not really cool yet!)
This past Sunday, I received a question on the radio show about Silver Leaf Maples -- probably the worst tree we can plant in Houston – which of course led to the question as to why Nurseries even sell them locally.
The answer to that question is that Nurseries and Garden Centers don’t want to lose any sales, period. People move to Houston from places where Silver Leaf Maples work just fine, but find out that the heat and humidity make it prone to diseases and insects that kill them here.
The same debate holds true for annuals sold at just such Nurseries and Garden Centers. Many folks may be used to planting pansies in September in Ohio for example, but when they move here, wonder why they crater within weeks. Which is why over a year ago, I wrote a tip sheet for these weekly email tips called Mums The Word on Too Early Pansies. I’ve included that article in this week’s tip once again, because I think it perfectly illustrates the point – Why Nurseries Sell Things Out of Season???… So they don’t lose any potential sale.
With the days growing shorter and the shadows growing longer, fall can seem a bit drab for some folks. The easiest way to brighten up your landscape is with fall color. Nothing provides as much impact as annuals. Unfortunately, we are in that "gray" area of the calendar when it's too late to take advantage of the heat loving annuals like Vinca, and it's too early to see success with the true cool season annuals like Pansies and Snapdragons. So, if you take anything away from this GardenLine Tip today, hold off on planting your typical "cool season annuals."
While you will see a lot of pansies and snaps etc. at nurseries and garden centers, I suggest that if you want to succeed with such annuals that you wait until at least Halloween to begin planting them. Yes, they are for sale, and they've come from growers who have produced them this early for a reason. That reason: They know some people refuse to listen to logic, and want 'em no matter what. So, at the very least, they must supply that foolhardy market.
But there are a couple of transition annuals you can plant right now that will actually do fairly well until the first frost. Then there are the basic cool season annuals, which if you wait to plant them until late October-early November, they will reward you with much color. And don't forget the upcoming Bulb and Plant Mart which will be October 7th 8th & 9th at the Westminster United Methodist Church. CLICK HERE for details…
Cool Season Annuals:
Cyclamen (Total Shade)
Until next issue, here's to
Great Gardening from the GardenLine, heard
exclusively weekend mornings from 8 to noon
on Talkradio 950 KPRC.