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Our annual container designer, Amy Walton, shares her tips for flowers that bloom all summer long. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us anytime. The 3 keys to success: Watering The easiest and hardest thing to do. Annuals should never be allowed to dry out completely, yet they do not like sitting in soggy soil either. Your containers have been planted in a premium grade potting mix that provides good moisture retention while remaining porous. How often you need to water your containers depends on many factors, including container size, sun/wind exposure and weather conditions. A small pot in full sun may need water 2 or 3 times a day when the weather is really hot, while a medium or larger pot on a shady porch may only require water every 2-3 days during the same weather. You really have to be an observer and also check the soil with your fingers. Generally speaking, most pots will need water at least once a day. Feeding We ask a lot of our annuals. We want them to bloom all summer long, and that take a lot of energy. Feeding is essential in order to help your plants perform. Here at Bath, we are firm believers in organic fertilizers, but when it comes to annuals, they don't always provide the quick, easy-to-absorb nutrients annuals need. They need a lot of nitrogen and phosphorus, in a form that the plant can absorb quickly. We suggest Fertilome Blooming & Rooting, a water-soluble food that will give your plants all they need. We recommend feeding with the regular dose at least twice/week. A diluted, 1/3 strength feeding every time you water can be very beneficial. Pruning Not to be confused with deadheading. You know the scenario: Your pots have been looking great and suddenly, mid-summer they begin to look tired, leggy, and don’t flower much. This is the time to be brave, grab some scissors and give those plants a serious haircut. Don’t be timid! If a stem is 15 inches long, cut it back to about 7 inches. In other words, cut them back by half. Your pots will look a little ugly for a few days, but feed them, wait, and they will soon be revived and rejuvenated. If you are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with pruning, please visit us and Amy will show you how to cut back your plants with confidence. Thank you for trusting Bath to help beautify your home this summer and for supporting your local, family-owned nursery. We love to color your world with flowers! - Amy Walton.