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Plant annuals now?

Sterling, VA(Zone 6b)

My house in Sterling VA goes on the market next week. My garden beds have lots of green poking through and some bulbs flowering but I would like to add some more color. I admit that I have not checked the nurseries yet to see what is in stock. Are there some good annuals that can be planted now that will not be killed by a mild frost? Pansies are okay, but I was hoping for something a little more exciting. BTW, I am pretty much a newbie when it comes to annuals.

- Brent

Linden, VA(Zone 6a)

You'd be taking a big chance by putting annuals other than pansies in the ground yet. I just finished at and they say a high of only 48 here tomorrow. And we could likely still get frost for a few weeks. If you really don't want pansies, how about one or two very large (Costco-sized) pots strategically placed, that you could pull into the garage or up against the house if we get a spell of unfriendly weather?

Linden, VA(Zone 6a)

You'd be taking a big chance by putting annuals other than those ubiquitous pansies in the ground yet. I just finished at and they say a high of only 48 here tomorrow. And we could likely still get frost for a few weeks. If you really don't want pansies, how about one or two very large (Costco-sized) pots strategically placed, that you could pull into the garage or up against the house if we get a spell of unfriendly weather?

Linden, VA(Zone 6a)


Sterling, VA(Zone 6b)

Trying to sell my house in this slow that is a risk!

Pots that I could move into the garage you say? That might be a good idea. A flat or two of pansies in the ground and a couple pots by the front door might work. I guess I need to get out to the nursery and see what is actually available. I know that Costco was selling flats of pansies and hanging baskets of pansies a few weeks ago.

- Brent

Middle of, VA(Zone 7a)

Lord knows the pansies will survive...I think I posted this pic previously...this is a pansy from LAST fall during our flurries a couple of weeks ago...or maybe that was last week...grrrr!

Thumbnail by Chantell
Richmond, VA

Annuals actually are of three basic types.True Annuals die completely off
and last only one season.Self Seeding which will return and spread even.
Both of these types need to be planted well after the danger of frost has past.Self Seeding annuals benefit from this type of planting.It allows a natural acclimation to cold ensuring a higher probability of return.Hardy self seeding which can be planted as soon as the soil can be worked.
You didnt say what type of soil that youd want to grow them in.If the soil is poor you might want to try cosmos.They stand our summers well and actually thrive in bad soil conditions.

Sterling, VA(Zone 6b)

There are two basic conditions where I will plant some annuals. My front beds have an East exposure and get enough sun to support most "full sun" plants. The other place is near the covered area between my front door and the garage. This area is pretty shady and the only water it gets comes from a hose. In both places the soil is reasonably well amended clay soil.

I know that in the fall, some annuals can withstand a few frosts and keep on blooming. I am not sure if the same freshly planted annual would be able to withstand a frost now. It can be hard tracking down information on which plant are true annuals and which ones are tender perennials. I had a few plants that I labeled as annuals survive this year's mild winter.

- Brent

Richmond, VA

Try the following link.This should help.
Click on the links for annuals for specific locations or specific growing conditions.

This message was edited Apr 6, 2006 2:04 PM

Ijamsville, MD(Zone 6b)

Where are you moving Brent? still local?

Ellicott City, MD(Zone 7a)

You can plant wintersown seedlings! They are already hardened off! That's the beauty of them!!!

Crozet, VA

Hi Centralva - I just visited the link you listed. 4-H is so great. I remember when.....haha. Many, many years ago for me.

I saved the site so that I can visit the "clutter" part of it. I could certainly benefit from some ideas.

Thank you for posting it.


Shenandoah Valley, VA

Just keep in mind that Linden and the rest of the valley gets frost for several weeks beyond the last frost for Northern Virginia.

I lived in Manassas for many years, now live in the valley. I was able to plant my frost sensitive stuff about 3-4 weeks earlier in Manassas. NoVa is zone 7, we're zone 6.

Having said that, I would say wait until closer to the end of April. Here, I'm taking a chance if I plant before mid-May at the very earliest.

Sterling, VA(Zone 6b)

I took a few pictures yesterday but they did not turn out well. What I did was pick up 3 "hanging" pots of impatients from Lowes and placed them on the ground (I removed the hanger). I also purchased a 3 or 4' tall tropical hibiscus, along with a larger pot and placed that next to the front door. The pink of the impatients, the red of the hibiscus and the pastels of a wreath that my wife hung on the front door clash a little, but it looks nice. I figure that if we get a cold spell I can move them in the garage and in a month or so I can divide up the baskets and plant the impatients in the ground.

I remembered why I don't purchase many annuals while I was at the checkout...the bill was about $70.

BTW, yes..still local...only about a mile away from my old house.

- Brent

Linden, VA(Zone 6a)

I agree with you on that bill, Brent. Your $70 bill became my rationale for potting mostly perennials last year. Early in the season, I'll add some 6-pack pansies to the planters that can be discarded when the perennials fill out and the pansies flag. Then that $70 keeps on giving year-after-year. I did succumb to a flat of Gerber daisies at Costco last year; 2 of them actually survived their winter in the garage.

Your solution sounds appealing. Any bites yet? When do you move?

Shenandoah Valley, VA

mickgene, Springtime Garden Center in Front Royal (corner of Commerce and Warren aves.) has nice annuals for around $18 a flat, perennials for around $1 apiece. The perennials are small but I've had great results with them. Their prices on shrubs and trees are very reasonable too.

Stokes Store on Main St. also has cheap annuals and perennials. Not has healthy as Springtime's and they're in a bit of a jumble but I've found a few gems in there. Stokes has in the past had the best prices I've seen on hanging baskets. I'm talking about Bernie Stokes' store on the north side of Main not Andy's store on the south side.

If you ever get over to Woodstock, Mac's Greenhouse (on Route 11 jsut south of the Sheetz) has pretty decent prices on annuals. He also has a nice selection of herbs and vegetable plants. I was over there last week and he hasn't gotten a lot of his stock in for this year yet.

Linden, VA(Zone 6a)

You must really know Front Royal to differentiate Bernie from Andy! DH loves Andy's store for its General Store qualities.

I saw Mac's last year on the way to an auction but didn't stop. Now I'll know to get in there. Thanks.

Shenandoah Valley, VA

I worked in Front Royal for 10 years. Wait a few weeks for Mac to get his plants in. Right now he mostly has pansies and a few herbs and vegetable plants. Fort Valley Nursery, north on 11 and across the road, just before the Hospital, also has gorgeous plants but is very expensive.

Front Royal, VA

for those of you who are knowledgeable about front royal, i live on blue mountain. i was wondering if you all have any recommendations for a good place to purchase plant pots? i told a friend i was headed to home depot yesterday to get pots and he suggested i try and find a local mom and pop to support the local industry. i have to agree with that sentiment. also, anyone going to the plant sale at the virginia arboretum today and tomorrow?

Shenandoah Valley, VA

KMart would have some but is not exactly a mom and pop and I've never seen a chain store that did as poor a job of keeping items in stock as that FR Kmart.

The Stokes store I mentioned above I'm sure would have some and you never know what kind of bargains you're going to find stashed away on a dusty shelf there. Springtime I'm sure would have some. I've found some really cute, reasonably priced garden decor at the Peebles in FR. If you're looking for something a little fancier than a plastic pot, try there.

Centreville, VA(Zone 7a)

I cant resist but add the $70 seems familiar out in our area. I have already spent 5 times $70 and yet the small yard is no where near to 1/4

I finally bought some seeds yesterday but not sure how they are going to grow, never planted any before.....

Reading Harts note makes me think maybe i shd drive to the valley one

Shenandoah Valley, VA

Went to Springtime a couple of weeks ago. She still has perennials for $1.10, $1 if you buy a flat of 18. Her annuals were gorgeous but they're now three in a pack. I've forgotten the price on the annuals.

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