Saturday, March 1, 2014

Planning the garden 2014: Zinnias

When it comes to my annual garden in front of my house, I tend to go with actual plants – marigolds, coleus, perilla, New Guinea impatiens (and “regular” impatiens before downy mildew) – mixed with bulbs like glads, cannas and dahlias. Over the last couple of years, I added some seeds to the mix: my corner cutting garden of zinnias.

Zinnias are some of the greatest flowers ever because they’re so easy to grow from seed: you can direct seed by digging a shallow trench (1/2” to 3/4"), planting the seeds, covering them and watering – within a few weeks, you’ll see all kinds of little green plants sprouting up! Once they start poppin’, you’ll probably want to thin them out some, either by eliminating smaller seedlings or by transplanting them into other areas. I, however, do not practice what I just preached (or at least what I’ve read): I leave them all grow, tall and colorful – I haven’t had too many problems with spots until late in the season (like mid- to late September).

My favorite thing about zinnias – besides their simplicity – is the wide range of colors they’re available in. Red, pink, orange, green (yes, green flowers!), purple, violet, white – there are also lots of bi-color flowers! I plant a variety of colors and bi-colors, and use them in vases throughout my kitchen, dining area and living room.

all photos: - 2013

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