You really have to get used to working in cycles when you grow plants. Whether vegetables or annuals, you have to remember to start planting early or face the loss of those plants for a period of time.
In the last half year, I’ve lost my marigolds and zinnia plants to the more aggressive yellow cosmos plants. All of them are self-seeding plants, but the cosmos has come out as the most dominant. It grew into a nice tight cluster around our formerly ailing Bird’s Nest fern and surprised me when they grew to more than 1.5 metres high! I admit, they’re pretty, but new plants are popping up everywhere now. I guess I should have done more deadheading, but then again, it’s quite easy to transplant the young plants to new locations.
Despite the loss of the marigolds, they seem to have achieved what I wanted – to cut down on nematode problems – but if the old issues resurface, any planting will be too little too late unless I start sowing seeds again. I hesitate to do so though, because the marigolds were also mealybug attractors.
I do, however, miss the pretty white zinnia flowers. In a cluster, they were very sweet. I hope I still have some viable seeds to start a new lot!
My sunflower ambitions for last year also eventually petered out. We had a promising start to the year, but then after the wonderful peak with the Early Russian sunflower, things – as well as the viability of my sunflower seeds – seemed to die off. Ah well, things grow in cycles, and it’s always fun to get new seeds and watch them germinate and grow…