There is nothing like the vibrant burst of colorful flowers to announce the end of winter and the robust arrival of spring. Annual flowers often have much brighter colors than perennials and their growth habits seem a little easier. By the time winter is finished many gardeners long for the immediate relief of the cheerful annual. Wait until the last risk of frost is gone and you can indulge in the pleasure of decadent spring blooms.
Mix the top 12 inches of soil with top soil, potting soil and a slow release flower fertilizer when planting annual flowers. Mix up to 18 inches deep for larger perennial flowers. Use a hand rake to loosen the soil and mix it well.
Purchase flowers in larger pots. The flowers should look healthy and the flower stems should not be thin or spindly. Look for plants with lots of buds and just a few flowers already open.
Tap the bottom of the pot to loosen the root system from the sides of the pot. If the root ball has a lot of roots, gently pull the roots away from the soil so they can spread more easily.
Dig a hole with your garden trowel that is 2 inches wider than your root ball on all sides. The crown or soil at the top of your flower should be level with the soil around it. Fill in around the sides of the root ball with your mixed good soil and make sure not to leave air pockets. The soil should be tamped in but still soft since you want the roots to easily penetrate the new soil.
Add 2 to 3 inches of mulch over the soil to help shade the soil and retain moisture for the plants. Make sure you water your new plants well until they have adapted to their new location. Plant your flowers in large similar groups for the strongest impact. Many flowers do well with additional fertilizer every 2 to 3 weeks.