Growing Zinnias | At Home With P. Allen Smith

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I'm squeezing the last bit of color out ofmy garden.

I wanna show you how.

Just look at all this color in my garden, and I'm embarrassedto tell you how late in the season it actually is.

You see, these were just planted about45 to 50 days ago from seed in the ground.

You see, if you wanna grow Zinnias like this,you wanna make sure the soil is warm and you give them plenty of sunshine.

And they justneed moderate water.

And when you water them, you don't wanna water them overhead — it'sbetter to run like a soaker hose or something or deep soak the ground because you can getpowdery mildew on the leaves of Zinnias if you over water them.

Plus, it doesn't makethe flowers last as long and they're not as good for cutting.

When I planted these I wantedjust to have a mixture of colors, so what I did is I just got some packs of seed, mixedthem all up together, and sowed them down this long row.

And if you'll look closelyyou'll see the myriad of colors we have here — there's apricot and there's peach, there'sred, there's yellow, even creamy whites in a wide range of pinks and red.

Now the otherthing to look closely at is I also have some different flower forms — there are doubles,there are singles, and those that are considered a cactus form because they look like a cactusbloom with their slightly rolled leaves.

I think the flower buds are equally fascinating.

If you look closely, they almost look reptilian in that they have scales.

It's really hardto tell what color it's going to be.

But the form of that, when you examine it really closely,you can see it's quite beautiful in it of itself.

The other interesting thing aboutZinnias, like so many cut flowers, is that the more you cut them the more they put offside shoots and produce more and more flowers.

So you're not hurting anything buy comingout here and gathering up a bouquet like this every other day or so.

And it also makes senseto come along and cut off any spent blooms.

What you're doing is you're telling the plantthat it needs to produce more flowers.

You see, the plant is programmed to produce seed,so if you're loping off these blooms where the seed pods are the plants thinking I'vegotta produce more and more and more.

That leads me to one other thing: You see, eachone of these as they dry are great for saving because you can plant the seed next year.

One other thing to keep in mind: Before the blooms get too old and tired, you can actuallycollect them and dry them by just putting them in silica gel, and over about a weekthey'll dehydrate and you could use these and dried arrangements.

If you've enjoyedthese tips on Zinnias, check out eHow Home, there's many more to see.

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