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Annuals/four o'clocks


I have a house in West Virginia zone 6a that faces the west.Every summer I plant four o'clocks. My front yard is bisected by a sidewalk that goes to my mailbox. The four o'clocks on the north side of the sidewalk are beautiful, and the four o'clocks aroung the mailbox are also beautiful. However the four o'clocks that I planted south of the sidewalk are pale & they have hardly grown. What do you think the problem is? What should I do to the soil to prepare it for next year ?

Thank you for your help.

You obviously know how to care for the plants given your success in the other beds. The problem most likely lies in the composition of the soil.  I would definitely add organic matter to the soil this fall and again in spring.  Include compost, aged manure, and peat.  You can also work in shredded leaves and dried grass clippings.  I would then add lime next spring to sweeten the soil and balance the pH level.  These simple steps should be all you need.  

Good luck, and please write again if I can ever be of assistance.




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Mike Mascio


I have been an avid gardener since 1985 and an AllExpert volunteer since 1998. I specialize in soil preparation, seed starting and plant propagation, flowers, vegetables, and general landscaping. I am a strong advocate of the square foot method of gardening and the use of organic controls for pests and diseases.


An All-Expert volunteer since 1998.

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