Procrastinators, rejoice! It's not too late in the year to enhance your outdoor space with beautiful blooms.
According to Lauri Kranz of Edible Gardens LA, the time is now for those craving an end of season flower show. "All you need is sun, soil and water," says Kranz.
In fact, there are still plenty of flora that, if planted in the next few weeks, will continue to flower throughout the summer and into early fall. And the best part? In addition to attracting pollinating butterflies and bees, these fabulous florals transcend specific gardening zones and can be easily planted anywhere in the country.
To get started, Kranz suggests hitting up local nurseries and even farmer's markets and trying out a combination of annuals and perennials.
Container Score: Easy container plants to pizzazz up your patio
"When it comes to the different kinds of plants that can grow in pots now, the possibilities are endless," says Kranz. Her picks for pot-perfect varieties include: lavender, roses, dahlias, scabiosas, agastache and mint.
Expert tip: Mint is invasive and grows quickly, so containing it in pots is a good way to go. Kranz suggests planting mint in multiple containers and spreading the pots out around your outdoor living space. "The smell of mint is wonderful!"
How to do it:
First, find a pot a couple sizes larger than the plant you're going to put in it.
Second, use a good organic soil and put a nice base of soil at the bottom of the pot. Don't skimp on cheap dirt!
Third, gently tilt the plant into your hands and lightly squeeze the container to help it out of the container. Place the plant root down in the pot, and fill in the sides with more organic soil.
Tip to keep plants alive: It's not necessary to add anything to the plants when you first add them to the container, but Kranz suggests adding a natural fertilizer to feed the plants regularly.
Taking root: Take your plants from pot to plot
Love what you saw at the garden center, but want to display it in as part of a bigger pot arrangement or the yard instead? It's easy to make the transition.
First, use care to gently remove the plant from its pot.
Next, dig a hole twice as big as the potted plant's root mass and put the plant in the hole with some good compost or amending soil. What's that? Soil amendments are ingredients such as manure or compost. When added to dirt that's sandy or lacking nutrients, amending soil creates a healthier growing environment for rooted plants.
Next, spread soil back around and make sure the roots of the plant are all below the surface of the earth, while the stem, leaves and flowers are above. Water as needed.
Expert tip: The easiest way to determine if your plants need water is to press into the soil near the base of the plant. If the dirt feels dry, add water right away.
Best pot to plot transplants: Roses, echinacea, calendula, cosmos, hyssop, sunflowers, autumn joy stonecrop, and dahlias.
Keep on blooming: Tips to preserve your favorite seasonal and annual plants
It's easy to keep your green thumb goodness going beyond the season.
For the perennials — those plants that return every year — cut the plants back when the season has ended. Grab some snips and do this easy chore when the weather has cooled, and you'll be guaranteed plants the following year.
For annuals — plants that require replanting every year — there's still a little leg work that needs to be done. When the season has changed and the plant is finished, dig the plant out of the ground and let the soil rest until the following spring. That's it!