favorite annual

sorie6(6b ok.)June 21, 2013

What is a good annual to plant at the base of knock out roses? The bed faces south. Not sure what does well here. Would like color into fall.
When is the first freeze here? (Grove)

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Depending on the color of your knockouts, I would plant a lantana or Mexican heather. Lantana comes in many colors and you don't have to do much with it and it will flower all summer long. Mexican heather is basically no-care but only comes in lavender color flower, I think. If you have the space, a sweet potato vine is good for the base of plants, too, maybe the chartreuse colored one would look nice, and won't give flowers but the foliage is a nice bright contrast.

Not sure what your frost date is. Here in OKC I can overwinter lantanas most years with heavy mulch, and they break dormancy very late. Have never tried to save Mexican heather, and the sweet potato vine can easily be rooted to start new plants if you wanted to keep some over the winter. I buy just one or two sweet potato plants and root a bunch from the growing tips.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2013 at 8:30AM
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Id be careful with mexican heather. It has the most incredible root system ive ever seen. Ive had it overwinter during mild winters here and come back. One year i had to dig 2 of them up for reasons i cant even begin to remember being 15 or more years ago, and my husband had to do it. The roots were little tiny roots but there were thousands of them and they went everywhere.

You could try geraniums or petunias, they are annuals. Lantana is great too and takes heat very well, in a very mild winter it might come back, but tends to be a bit invasive in my opinion if it does.

Hope your enjoying Grove, its a good retirement community and you will find a LOT of groups and activities.

As for a frost date in NE oklahoma, well, thats anyones guess....

    Bookmark   June 21, 2013 at 10:00AM
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butterflymomok(7a NE OK)

I love the short zinnias that bloom all summer like crazy. I dropped the seed back in the bed, and they are coming up and starting to bloom. Reds, oranges, pinks, and yellows. And the butterflies love them. Also like the new dwarf lantana called Banditos. These are not as hardy, but can be expensive.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2013 at 10:10AM
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Welcome to Grove. The website link will give you an overview of the climate. In the Fall, the date I use is Halloween and it comes pretty close most years. You will find that Oklahoma has trouble deciding on it's seasons and we may have a few nights of cold, followed by 2-3 weeks of mild weather before winter sets in. I keep row cover on-hand to cover those things that I would like to keep going for those few extra weeks.

In the Spring it is even worse. We plant onions in February, but for tomatoes I try to plan on around April 7, then I check the 10 day forecast before I decide. The lake is large enough that it seems to moderate the changes somewhat. You may not notice that as much as I do because you are not as close to the water. I have a gardening friend between Grove and Jay and most years she gets a frost 3 weeks before I do. I have seen her covered garden get damaged when my uncovered garden got no damage at all.

The rainfall here is usually fantastic, but can sometimes be too dry during the summer months. I have not needed to water at all this year. I dug my potatoes this week and the soil was so damp that it was sticking to the potatoes and my shoes. I have been gone a lot this year and my yard and garden are badly overgrown. My garden is usually neat and tidy, but not this year. It is never a 'showplace', but I love to garden and would rather be home to take care of things all summer.

We are zone 6 and we have some really cold weather on occasion, so I try to follow zone 6 guidelines most of the time. I have a very sheltered southern facing flowerbed that lets me cheat a little.

The link below is a good overview of the climate but the southern part of the county usually gets a little more rainfall than we do in Grove, but most years you can count on over 40 inches. A little change from Colorado, huh? We have friends that moved here from California, and both couples just have a lawn service do their yard rather than try to keep up with it. It can be quite a lot of work.

We usually have one (or more) ice storms in winter. This will not be anything like the ice you have in Colorado. We may first have rain which coats everything then freezes. It breaks trees and power lines and it is best just to stay at home until it melts. Cars are not equipped for it and drivers do crazy things, so if you know one is coming, just prepare to stay out of it if you can.

I think you will enjoy the climate here and in my opinion it is the best of Oklahoma and I have lived several places. Check out the Mesonet at www.mesonet.org, and the gardening guides at OSU. I'll link the one for Fall but there is also one for Spring. http://osufacts.okstate.edu/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-1114/HLA-6009web.pdf Although it is too hot for lettuce in the summer, a Fall planted crop may last until mid December with just an occasional need for a blanket at night.

I like the weather info on Tulsa Channel 6, and find that the web version of Interactive Radar is totally necessary to use because my internet is frequently still working long after we have lost a TV signal. This is the State map, but clicking on the small thumbnails at the bottom of the map gives you more info. I like to use 'Northeast Oklahoma' rather than 'Grand Lake'. Most of our storms come from the SW and many of them stay on the west side of I-44.

Good luck with the new house, and I hope the move-in is a smooth one for you. Carol

Here is a link that might be useful: Climate Info

    Bookmark   June 21, 2013 at 12:02PM
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Pentas are another plant to consider. They come in white, dark pink, light pink, red, purple, lavender, short or taller varieties. They bloom all the time and have pretty foliage. Other ideas include Sun coleus, Globe Amaranth, annual Salvias, Angelonias, Dusty Miller, and African Daisies.


Here is a link that might be useful: Pentas

    Bookmark   June 21, 2013 at 12:17PM
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Lisa_H OK(7)

profusion zinnias are one of my favorite annuals. They deadhead themselves, so they don't take a lot of work. Gomphrena, melampodium, flowering vinca (not the vine) are good too.

If you get lantana, make sure it's the low kind, not the bush type! I do love lantana, it puts on a show when everything else wants to curl up and die :)


    Bookmark   June 21, 2013 at 3:20PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

I don't have one favorite annual. I cannot narrow it down to just one. I love all zinnias, as do the butterflies, and verbena bonariensis attracts tons of butterflies too. It blooms until frost gets it. Laura Bush petunia is much more heat-tolerant than most petunias and reseeds here for me, though I am in zone 7b, and a lot further south than Grove. Gomphrena not only reseeds, but self-sows so prolifically that I have it in the pasture now, and Texas hummingbird sage is the same way.

I have French hollyhocks with my surviving roses (I took out a bunch of the roses several years ago because I was tired of fighting black spot) and the French hollyhocks are beautiful much of the year. They green up in February most years and begin blooming in March. The one I have with the roses is Malva sylvestris 'Zebrina'.

Emma, I had Mexican heather overwinter one year too, and when it didn't come back the third year, it still had dead roots all over everywhere and I had to dig and dig and dig to get them out,. I still love it though and wish it was perennial.


    Bookmark   June 21, 2013 at 4:24PM
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I vote salvia. Why?? it is a crazy reason really, there is a Mc Donald's in my area that has the most beautiful salvia around their roses I ever saw. I am growing some salvia next year just because of this..

    Bookmark   June 22, 2013 at 7:27AM
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"One "of my favorites is vinca and it comes in a type called Mediterranean. It is low growing so it won't cut off the air to your roses. And of course it is vinca so it takes the heat.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2013 at 4:18PM
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