ANNUALS ON THE HOMESTEAD

 

Annuals in your garden….

In this post I will explain what an annual is and how to grow them, including the light they need, the watering situation, how to start them, and where to put them.

 

I love annuals, especially in the garden.  Most vegetables are annuals, like tomatoes, squashes, and peppers, although peppers are perennial in some areas…

 

I do on occasion dig a pepper up out of the garden, put it in a container, and keep it over winter to get an early start.  The best one for that so far has been the tabasco pepper which actually lived about 5 years at one point.  I haven’t tried in a while though.  Maybe this year.

 

What is an annual you ask???

 

 

What is an annual plant…

●      Definition…

An annual plant is a plant that completes its life cycle, from germination to the production of seeds, within one growing season and then dies….

●      Therefore, an annual plant is a one year; replant every year, type plant.

Annuals include most garden vegetables and some common herbs….

●      Tomato family plants which includes tomato, pepper, potato and eggplants are annuals

Every year you have to replace your tomatoes for the next year whether you buy plants or seeds….

●      Summer squashes are also annuals

These include yellow crookneck, yellow straight neck, patty pan, and zucchini….

●      Winter squashes are also annuals

This family includes butternut, pumpkins, blue Hubbard, acorn, and several others with gourds in the mix….

●      Some of your favorite herbs are probably annuals as well

Basil is a well-known herb that most people grow that is definitely an annual….

●      Many of the flowers used as companions in the garden are annuals

Examples would be marigolds, nasturtiums and mums.  Others you may not put in the garden are zinnias and geraniums.

 

What is the best way to grow annuals….

Annuals are fairly easy to grow.  They really want to live to make those seeds so they are pretty hardy.  Plant them like you would any other plant or seed.  Make sure to check for water needs and keep them clean of dead leaves and weeds.

How do you plant an annual….

●      Start from seed or plant

These are the plants that most garden centers and home centers carry so buy away if you don’t want to start your own.  But fair warning, there are many varieties you will never see in those stores….

●      Grab some containers

You can plant in almost anything as long as you can add drainage holes in the bottom to keep things from getting too soggy….

●      If starting seeds use a sterile mix to get them started right

Mix vermiculite, perlite and peat moss in equal quantities in a clean container to get an excellent starting mix for your seeds….

●      Place the seeds or plants in the mix and water in well

Just cover them lightly, rule of thumb is 3 times as deep as the seed is wide, or cover the roots well with the dirt then water in well….

  

 

 

What is the value of an annual plant

In my opinion, annuals are the most important of the three types of plants.  Most of them are edibles that we put in our gardens every year or herbs that will help our foods taste better or help to get rid of an illness.  I don’t think they are ever replaceable….

How many hours of light do they need?

 

●      Garden vegetables need full sun

That means 6 or more hours of sun a day….

●      Annual herbs can be put next to the vegetables as companions

So they are also in need of about 6 hours of light a day….

●      There are a few that need less, but they are rare.

Some more delicate vegetables may need less than 6 hours, but I do not actually know of any….

How much water do they need?

 

●      Garden vegetables need watered regularly

Check the ground everyday as most of the vegetables you will grow need an inch of water a week….

●      In hot or dry climates

You should double that at least….

●      The best way to know is to check the dirt

This is easily done by sticking a finger down about an inch or so and feeling for moisture.  If it is dry they need water, if it is still moist give them another day or two and check again….

 

ANNUAL PLANTS

The best plants in the garden, in my personal opinion, are the annuals.  I can them the most, freeze them the most and eat them the most.  I don’t have any perennials in my garden at this point and only a few biennials.  These are the MOST IMPORTANT to me.

 

If you would like more information on the perennials or biennials that I mentioned check here and here for my posts.  If you would rather have more information on annuals check here.  If you would like to ask a question or you want to know anything specific let me know in the comments and I will do my best to answer you.

 

I hope you enjoyed this and it helped you learn a little something about gardening.  I love to help beginners get their hands dirty.  Come back soon and play in the dirt with me again.  You can also find me on FB on my page Homesteadin Crazy.  I would love to see you there. J  Talk to you again soon.

 

Love you bye,

Kelly Jeanne

 

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