Sidney Sun Times article – date unknown
Although sporadic temperatures have not been encouraging for Panhandle gardeners, the time for planting is fast approaching – and they know it.
“I’ve been keeping busy,” said Teri Wolff, owner of Ricky and Lucy’s Greenhouse in Sidney. “It’s already that time of year.”
While Mother’s Day is typically the magic date that lawn and garden lovers eagerly anticipate before planting flowers and shrubs, it is wise to keep in mind that not all plant life is equal.
Plants and flowers are divided into two categories: annuals and perennials.
Annuals do not tolerate frost, so planting when the weather is consistently warmer is the most sure-fire way to ensure that these flowers grow properly.
Annuals need to be replanted every year.
Geraniums – an annual flower – are among the most reliable plants grown in the home garden. They are hardy and take little care. They can be obtained in flower in late spring and will add color to the garden until frost and require a large amount of sunlight.
Petunias also tolerate lots of heat and are relatively undemanding when it comes to water. An exception are the “spreading” types, which require frequent watering – but thorough watering once a week should be sufficient in all but the worst weather.
Several species of flowers that thrive in western Nebraska’s climate require little attention and may be good choices to consider when deciding what type of flowers to plant.
Moss rose and alyssum are two other sun savvy plants, both holding up in the dry heat of summer.
Perennials, however, do a slightly better job of surviving through the season change from spring to summer, depending on the species.
Wolff said perennials come back every year but take a three year fruition process.
“The first year is when the roots grow,” she said “The second year is the growing process for the flower or plant and the third year is when there is a full-fledged plant.”
Popular perennials include the iris, black-eyed Susans, and peonies.
Penstemons, blanket flower, Missouri primrose, and ornamental grass all return every year and handle the dry, Nebraska climate well.
“Several flowers are drought resistant and hold up in the wind,” Wolff said.