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HELP, I 'Volunteered' to

Posted by deweymn z4mn ( on
Fri, May 11, 07 at 1:04

plant two annual beds on a commercial building site. Both on a boulevard hill at the entrances to the parking areas/buildings. There is a sprinkler system.

Of course the one volunteering me thought $30 or so would buy a bunch of annuals that I could 'plop' in the ground. I saw the beds last fall and that is about what was done. I don't think the lady that planted them got much more and probably didn't get paid much to do it.

So, There is a large sign in the center of one bed listing the tenants for the offices. That bed is oval 5'wide by 10'long. The large sign frame is about 4' long by 8" wide so plants cant grow under it, only around it. Both get good morning and daytime sun until late afternoon. Little shade except from the large sign.

The other is a tenant sign mounted on 4"x4" posts and is up about 3' above ground. It is slightly smaller than the other oval. Soil is ok but I will add compost and turn it, rake it and add a little fertilizer.

Hopefully I pick up some cash tomorrow (from petty cash) and hit a few residential plant sales for a few unique or colorful plants. Also, I will use their Menards account for most of the annuals. Right now they are $1.40 per sixpack or about $9 for a flat of 6 six packs.

Fortunately, I have a large supply of seed packets left over from last years find. 50 or so of Marigolds and over a dozen more of each of these:

Sweet william
Bachelors Button

What I was thinking of doing is making the bed with the sign in the middle a low growing bed, very few tall plants. Mostly marigolds. I would buy a flat or two and seed the rest of the bed periodically with the seeds I have. What would go well with marigolds (petite yellow, petite orange, and cracker jack mixed colors) that I have in seed packets? Should I add seeds from the list above, maybe the lowest growing height Bach button, sweet william, helichrysum? Those I could buy a few plants and seed between them for later blooms?

For the other bed I am thinking of buying some cosmos, cleome, zinnia and aster and do the same. Plant the plants I buy and seed the area with the similar seeds I have and hope it turns into a mixed bed, with blooms for most of the summer. I can dead head as needed and pinch off after July 4th for the ones that need it. Might give me blooms till fall?

This sound like it would work? I may squeeze a few more dollars out of the 'kitty' just by overbuying but two beds and $30 won't cut it. $60 might, right?

I have to dig Fri afternoon/eve and probably plant on saturday. I don't want to spend a lot of time either as that is not budgeted either. (Next year things will be different if I take it on again.) (Perennials are out-period).

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: HELP, I 'Volunteered' to

Well, it has been decided to Keep it Simple, plop a bunch of annuals in and that be that.

RE: HELP, I 'Volunteered' to

What did you decide on, plant-wise? I'm primarily into perennial gardening, but this year on impulse I bought all kinds of annuals for borders, a container or two, and to fill in the perennial blooming gaps. I came away with a larger blossomed alyssum ("Snow Crystals"), snapdragons, verbena, statice, dahlias, pinks, lisianthus, impatiens, petunias, geraniums, and pansies. I'm kind of excited about the prospect of getting all this into the ground!

RE: HELP, I 'Volunteered' to

By the time I got to Menards on Tues, they were pretty well picked over. Co. has an account there so that is where I had to buy. I ended up with a lot of petunias, ageratums, and salvia. I went with 'red, white, and blue' done in rings around the signs.

I was able to soak the ground thoroughly on the first bed with 125' of garden hose but the second bed had to wait to be planted and I would need another 100' of hose. So, last nite I planted it with somewhat stressed plants in dry dirt. With more time I would have mulched it, but maybe I can top mulch it by Sunday. After planting, I ran the sprinkler system. Ha! Couldn't get those two zones to come on and the system was started by a service company the week before. Little rain forcast and I may not get back till Monday. Hopefully, I can get the sprinkler company back out to check those zones. The grass is getting brown too. When it rains it pours.

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