Perennial beds should be planted with seedlings or bedding plants. To raise perennials from seed, follow directions on the seed package for planting and watering instructions. Seedlings can be started indoors and then grown in the garden as you would a bedding plant purchased from a nursery.

Bedding plants should be set at proper depth to ensure that the roots can spread into the soil. If the perennials are container grown, carefully remove the pot and set the plant in the hole just slightly-deeper than they were in the original container. For bare root plants, remove bag and set plant so that the crown, the point where root and stem meet, is at soil level.

Firm the soil around the newly set plant, leaving a slight saucer-shaped "dish" or depression. Water thoroughly until the dish is filled. This helps to secure soil around the roots, eliminates air pockets, and promotes good root-to-soil contact. After plants are well established, fill the depression with soil to ground level so that water does not collect in it after heavy rains.

The first year is the most critical for perennials. Keep a close eye on foliage for signs of wilting and damage caused by insects or diseases. Be sure the soil is moist, but don't overwater.

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