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Planting Annuals

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by eskals, May 23, 2001.

  1. eskals

    eskals LawnSite Member
    Messages: 210

    I have been asked to bid on a flower planting job. It will be about 40 flats of flowers palnted closely in about 6 beds. The soil is good and soft (flowers have been planted there before), no mulch or anything in the way, no mulch to put around the flowers.

    How many flowers could one guy install per hour? Do I need to add any fertilizer? I was thinking of just taking a hoe and making a small trench to put the flowers in, then just backfill the trench. Digging all those little holes would take forever.


  2. eskals

    eskals LawnSite Member
    Messages: 210

    I think I may just answer my own question about installation, but I totally forgot about my bulb auger. Put that on my cordless drill, and I could dig a lot of small holes quick.

  3. Lanelle

    Lanelle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,361

    Its a good idea to add a slow-release fertilizer when planting annuals. Your speed depends on technique so try to visualize the job. Also, if this is for a commercial site, try to use at least 4" size annuals.
  4. steveair

    steveair LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,073


    there was a decent article about planting annuals in this month's "Landscape management" magazine. You may want to check it out if you can get hold of it.

    Some interesting points brought up. First, they interviewed a company and he made some interesting points. One was that small crews, usually 3, are most effecient for planting annuals. Second, he said that they do not concern themselfs with planting annuals in 'perfect rows spaced equally apart' all the time (his point here is that in a couple of weeks they will grow together anyways so why nit pick over it.....Very good point). Another good point was not to bother mulching annuals unless needed, he basically says if they are in a far off bed, don't bother, however, if they are close to where people walk, a thin coat.

    My favorite point of the article was in the 'tips to streamline installations' Here, they were quoted as saying, "Don't overlook training women for your install crews".

    Hey lanelle, maybe you can help him out on this one!

    just kidding, but actually, its probably a good point. Women do have more 'finess' when it comes to flowers.


    Oh ya, one more thing, I find a mini-pick (the hand held kind that is around a foot long with a point on one side and a flat, wide pick on the other) is the most efficient way to dig holes for annuals.
  5. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Messages: 1,578

    I can buy a flat of annuals for about 15 and get 35 to install in preped soil....as quick as a guy can throw them down, I can plant them. If the soil is all soft ...just use one of those little shovels (about 6inches long)
  6. eskals

    eskals LawnSite Member
    Messages: 210

    Thanks for the tips. I found the article online and read it. Good stuff. I'll probably get two crews of two working in seperate areas. Sorry, only one woman. The other three will be male.

    About the fertilizer, what would constitute a slow release fertilizer? Or should I just go to the fertilizer place and ask? I am thinking of trying to convince them of cultivating the beds and adding a little peat moss.

  7. Mowin4cash

    Mowin4cash LawnSite Member
    Messages: 160

    We like to install all 6" pots. Bought an Echo gas drill w/ 7" auger bit. 2 people working sensibly together can plant at least 200 an hour without breaking a sweat. Lay them all out where you want them, then have one person drilling holes as the other one raises the plants and puts them in the hole after it is drilled. Then both people empty the pots and fill in around the plant. Most important!!!!!!!! Water in the plants. And shoot the @#$@#*(*($994 squirrels that come by 15 minutes after you leave and dig them up.
  8. dan deutekom

    dan deutekom LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 424

    I agree with Kris. I work with one fellow that takes the plants out of the cell packs and throws them on the ground in front of me onthe ground and I plant them just as fast as he throws them down using a hand trowel to make the holes.
  9. Lanelle

    Lanelle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,361

    Been there, done that!

    Fertilizer: Osmacote or Lesco 14-14-14
  10. Ron Persaud

    Ron Persaud LawnSite Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 17

    I dig up the area to a depth of about 6 inches, rake in a soil fungicide and add some fertilizer into the the planting hole at the time of planting. Lesco Revere and 14 14 14 work well for me. After that all I have to worry about is watering. Proper watering helps to control fungi which can quickly ruin a beautiful display. But I must disagree with the comment about spacing; accurate spacing shows off a bed from day one. The best I have ever done is tear up prep and replant 1400 sq.ft. in 3 eight-hour days. All hand work; one 4 inch plant per sq.ft.:)

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