What is the proper way to plant annual flower and vegetable plants?
Carefully remove plants from plastic cell packs by gently squeezing the bottom on each compartment. Plants in plastic pots can be removed by tipping them on their sides and tapping the bottom of the pots.
If possible, plant annual flowers and vegetables in the garden in the evening or on a cloudy day. Planting at these times lessens transplant stress and allows the plants to recover somewhat before being exposed to the strong, mid-day sun. Place plants in the ground at the same depth or slightly deeper (no more than ½ inch deeper) than they were in their containers. (Tall, leggy tomato plants can be planted much deeper than previously grown as roots will develop all along the buried stems.) Many annuals, such as petunia, snapdragon, zinnia, salvia, and periwinkle, should be pinched back to encourage branching. Others, such as impatiens, are self-branching and don’t require pinching. It’s also advisable to remove flowers on blooming annuals. Blossom removal aids plant establishment. Vegetable transplants should not be pinched.
After planting, water each plant with a dilute fertilizer solution. A dilute fertilizer solution can be prepared by adding a small amount of a water soluble fertilizer to one gallon of water.