Under some of the most rigorous testing conditions possible, I have decided to try the mettle of some Ball FloraPlant starts against basement-grown seedlings provided by my neighbor Bob. Most of the Allentown street planters have been filled with Bob’s seedlings. I usually add in some storebought plants just to let people know the containers have been planted—Bob’s seedlings are very small. I filled one planter (seen above) with only the Ball starts, which include petunias, marigolds, calibrachoa, and verbena.
Here are Bob's seedlings, planted at the same time (about 6 weeks ago). He's been sticking to the Tidal Wave petunias for the most part, in silver and purple varieties. He also gives me a couple flats of Blue Horizon ageratum (not used in this one) and some marigolds.
I know that many tend to turn up their noses at bedding annuals. I don’t. They provide cheerful, summer-long color for public beautification projects, like the ones in which I am involved, and I’m not ashamed to say that I really like a lot of these plants. They’re beautiful and many have fragrance.
Not only that, but free is important. Bob donated his plants and Ball sent 2 boxes out of similar kindly impulses. Without free, beautification doesn’t happen—not these days.
The race is on.