End of Summer Review

I would like to give all of you a summary of everything I’ve learned during my last 4 months of gardening adventures. My containers of annuals are gone by now, and since we’ve been seeing 40-50 degree days for the past few weeks, I am finally convinced that the cold season is here.

In May, I posted when I got a lot of my plants; all of them made it through the entire summer. After 3 months with these plants, here is what I’ve found:

Most Impressive Plants

  • Vincas are very hardy, and mine withstood a lot of abuse. During my move, they got left in my car for an entire 90 degree day- and they were fine. This summer was my first time growing them, and I was very pleased with the continuous blooming of their simple flowers.
  • Super Elfin Impatiens are gorgeous; mine really filled out, bloomed profusely, and were always a treat to look at. I will definitely be using these every summer! I was not a fan of Impatiens at the start of the summer, but my opinion of them has since completely turned around!
  • Alyssum is an awesome filler plant! Most of the Alyssum I had this summer was what I started from seed (it was one of the few seed started plants of mine that actually survived). I never pinched them back when they were growing; they got quite large and looked fantastic!

Most Disappointing Plants

  • Wax Begonias are a shade annual, but mine never filled out or looked very healthy. They kept flowering through the summer, but the leaves frequently turned brown. I was so excited for these plants, and they never did very well.
  • Ageratums are supposed to be low maintenance annuals, but only half of mine survived the summer. I really have no idea what happened to them, but some of them were continuously turning brown and crispy. It may have been an issue with the soil mixture having too much manure in that specific container.

Tips I’ve Learned Over the Summer

  • Do your homework before investing in a new plant. It sucks if you buy a great new plant, and proceed to kill it within 2 weeks.
  • Pay attention to the weather reports. This is especially important in cold climate areas like Minnesota. Springtime freezes are very spotty, and even when you think it has warmed up, there is no guarantee.
  • Be patient. Give your plants time and good care, and you will be rewarded!
  • Don’t be afraid to admit defeat! Learn to know when you need help. I use the UBC Botanical Garden Forum or the GardenWeb Forums when I have questions. These are large online communities, and you will get a fast response!

Let Me Know!

This is a short summary of my Minnesota summer gardening experience, and I will be posting pictures of my annuals sometime next week. I’d love to hear any comments or questions from all of you!

How did your annuals perform this summer? Let me know what worked (or didn’t) for you!

Until next time, Happy Gardening!

4 thoughts on “End of Summer Review

  1. Most of my annuals did well in containers. Like you, I can’t seem to get ageratum to live. I don’t know what the secret is to them, but if you find out, let us know!

    Good advice, by the way.

    Carol at May Dreams Gardens

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