Pinch your blossoms!

Credit: Flickr / di_the_huntress

Q: I have started many of my own annuals this year and I would like to know if you pinch back lemon gems or do you just let them be?

I found out in a funny way that it’s best to pinch them back. Once when I planted my marigolds, I dropped something on one and snapped its top off. It took off and doubled in breadth, making a lovely, fat little marigold with dozens of flowers. From then on, I always pinched them, even if I bought them in bloom. It takes courage, but it pays off! Of course, I always fertilize right away when planting annuals, with a liquid, preferably organic fertilizer for a boost. Annuals like plenty of fertilizer, not too much nitrogen, and regular water. If they get stressed, they can go to seed.