Annuals are among the most varied, most beautiful and most colorful flowers on the market. The sheer variety of annuals, the many colors, shapes and textures they come in, has made them a favorite among gardeners for many years.
With so many different annuals on the market, their ability to resist common plant diseases and insect infestations can vary quite a bit. While some types of annuals are virtually impervious to disease and insects, others require much more care to remain trouble free. When choosing varieties of annuals, it is always best to choose disease and insect resistant varieties when ever you can. Doing so will allow you to use less pesticides, and they will generally be less trouble in the long run as well.
It is also a good idea to choose annuals that are best suited for your climate. Some varieties of annuals are very drought resistant, while others require lots of moisture to look their best. Knowing the requirements of each variety, and tailoring the plants you buy to local conditions, is the best way to grow a successful garden. The staff at your local nursery or garden center can help you choose the hardiest varieties of annuals for your garden.
It is also important to look for signs of disease or insect infestation every time you work in the garden. For instance, as you are pulling weeds, look at the plants. Are the stems intact, or are they showing signs of cracks or other damage? Is the foliage leafy, green and free of holes and spots? Catching problems early is the best way to cure them.
When watering annuals, it is best to avoid overhead watering if you can. That is because splashing a lot of water on the foliage of plants can encourage a variety of diseases. Most plant diseases love moisture, and standing water on plants is a great way for existing diseases to spread throughout the garden, or for a new infection to take hold.
A combination of drip irrigation and soaker hoses is usually the best choice for watering the garden. These methods allow for greater control over the amount of water each plant receives, and they generally allow for deeper, more thorough, watering as well. No matter which method you use, however, it is generally best to water in the morning, since this allows the plants to dry before the hottest part of the day.
When working with annuals in the garden, it is important to be on the lookout for signs of insect problems. The most common insects that trouble annuals include spider mites, aphids, caterpillars and white flies. Any possible infestation should be attacked at the first sign of trouble. The best way to control any outbreak, be it insects or disease, is to control it early before it has the opportunity to spread.
There are a number of products on the market to treat problems with insects and disease. Of course, no treatment regimen can be effective until the problem is identified, so if you are unsure what is causing the problem be sure to consult with a more experienced gardener. In addition, it is important to always follow the package instructions of any insect or disease control product you use, to dispose of unused products properly, and to wear protection gear like gloves and masks when applying the product.