Planting spring annuals in mulch?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by guntruck, Mar 22, 2001.

  1. guntruck

    guntruck LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 527

    I saw a landscaping company today (very large one in my area) planting annuals in mulch. I was working in the area and watched them for about a half an hour then left, went back in afternoon to double check on what i saw and was right. They were planting these pansies FAST!! one would throw the other would spread the mulch and plop it in and cover very quickly, but they arent in the soil just in the 3" layer of mulch. Is this ok? I know mulch retains moisture well and the annuals will be removed in the fall and replaced with new ones and fresh mulch but is this a good practice or no?

  2. bam

    bam LawnSite Senior Member
    from .
    Messages: 261

    I think they may be replacing pansies that did not survive the winter to fulfill there contract. They probably put them in mulch figuring they would not grow much at all before getting ripped out in a month or so, when the summer annual display is planted.

    However, the company I work for does not mulch flower beds as it can foster fungus and disease in certain flower varieties and also makes bed preparation more difficult and time consuming. The exception to this would be dusting the bed with mulch in an area of high traffic where every detail is noticed.

    Mulch usually holds in moisture and being that it is not the height of summer, the plants would live.
  3. swood

    swood LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    Yes,this works i've done it alot even in my own yard.
  4. guntruck

    guntruck LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 527

    Bam, these guys werent replacing the dead ones to cover contract clauses, they had removed all the old ones from fall and replacing with new ones for the spring. Around here now is the time to install annuals.
  5. steveair

    steveair LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,073


    The answer is in two parts.

    First, horticulturally --- No, they should be planted in soil, not the mulch, and then a light mulch cover applied.

    Second, Real world ---- I've been planting annuals directly in mulch for years now and have never had much of a problem. Do a lot of wax begonias for summer, and they always do fine directly planting in mulch. If you ever go to a nursery, look how long and how nice annuals look sitting in the plastic trays. The key is watering. If you water regularily, especially during the hot days of summer, planting directly into the mulch is fine most of the time.

    Also have instances where ground covers such as pachysandra or myrtle were planted directly into mulch and have had excellent long term results. Again, I think proper watering has a lot to do with it.

  6. Lanelle

    Lanelle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,361

    Planting spring pansies now makes sense. They won't last through the summer though, so they will be replaced when the weather becomes truly warm. It is too early to plant the warm season annuals in this area. That should happen at the end of April, beginning of May.
  7. guntruck

    guntruck LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 527

    Lanelle, the property manager at this apt complex would like begonias to be planted for the annuals in the spring. Are begonias good to plant for the heat stress and im sure they will last longer than pansies yes? What do you personally plant, she wants these to last well into the summer. So if the begonias are good when should i throw them in?

  8. Lanelle

    Lanelle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,361

    Pansies are a cool season annual. Begonias like the hot weather and will last until fall frost. Don't plant them until the danger of frost is past---early May. If there is water available those will be a good choice. If the area is dry and won't get much watering, you might try vinca. We also like the Wave petunias.
  9. Landscaping Unlimited

    Landscaping Unlimited LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    Ref;Annuals planted in mulch, Ive been in this line of work for a long time now, have always planted both annuals and perennials in mulch and neverhad a problem or call back, some old idears about what can and cannot be done are still around,and as always still work.I even place some plantings into mulch, And now ill really get some guys up set, I plant annuals directley into 3/8 barn stone and even gravel been doing it for maney years, and again never a problem, try it at your own home, remember water is the key factor.
  10. diginahole

    diginahole LawnSite Member
    Messages: 249

    Planting annuals in mulch is ok by me too. Around here we use mainly cedar mulch, it seems to eat up the nitrogen so fertilizing every other week helps alot.

Share This Page