With their colorful faces and cold-weather tolerance, pansies are an easy landscape edition—unless they are installed incorrectly.
Gary Wade, a UGA Cooperative Extension horticulturist, says planting like the pros is the best way to have beautiful flowers and less heartaches and backaches. His top tips:
• Don’t plant more than you can maintain. “Annual flowers are high maintenance and require a lot of care to keep them looking their best,” Wade said.
• Plant at the right time of year. In cooler north Georgia, install them between now and Oct. 1. Don’t plant too early.
Wade also says to:
• Choose a spot that gets full sun and drains well to prevent disease problems.
• Plant pansies on beds raised 6 to 12 inches above the surrounding soil to ensure good drainage and improve visibility.
• Broadcast fertilizer, such as 10-10-10, at a rate of 2 cups per 100 square feet over the bed. Rake it into the top 4 inches of soil.
• Space plants out 8-10 inches apart.
• Plant the pansy bed from the inside out so you won’t crush any plants.
• Keep the bed moist, but not too wet. Water between 6 and 9 a.m. Apply liquid fertilizer once a month throughout the winter.
• Groom pansy beds once a week by removing spent blossoms and seedpods.