Novice gardeners may find it easier to buy and transplant bedding plants rather than start annuals from seed. Look for bedding plants with deep green leaves and compact growth. Quality bedding plants are short and have thick stems with side branches close to the base, rather than tall and "leggy."

Although annuals with blossoms seem more attractive, select bedding plants whose buds have not yet opened. Annuals come into bloom more quickly if planted in the bud stage.

Transplant bedding plants when conditions are cool, such as on cloudy days or in late afternoon. After transplanting, do not let the soil dry out. Water the soil around the root area every day, and twice a day in warm weather until the plants are established, which usually takes about 10 days.

Most gardeners transplant bedding plants just after the last frost in their area. If put out earlier, protect tender plants against the threat of frost with a layer of burlap or newspaper.

Healthier Growth, Naturally.

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