I live in Central Illinois. Every year I add some good dirt - this year Miracle Gro gardening soil - to the existing dirt in front of my house and plant flowers, mostly petunias. I always buy the plants at Home Depot. This year I planted my flowers in front and in 2 or 3 days (I watered daily as usual) they were dried up and then just gone. I went and got more, planted them and same thing happened. This time it looks as if the soil "rejected" the plants. Scattered around in the dirt are the actual cup shaped formations of soil that I pulled from the containers that I bought the plants in. As if they've been pushed back up. It's not animals digging. I've had the occasional hole dug by squirrels, etc. in my flower beds, but these are the actual shapes of what I pulled from the containers to plant and there are several, as if the dirt pushed them back up after the flowers died? The only thing different this year from all the other years is that I planted later than usual, a couple weeks into June, and it was very hot. Sorry to be so lengthy wanted you to have all the info. Thank you!
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
I would encourage you to have a soil test done on your garden bed.
This will help determine if there is a reason plants are not growing in this soil.
You local County Extension Office can help you do a soil test for a small fee.
This link will help you locate your nearest office.
Your soil does look quite dry. I also would recommend making the planting holes larger when planting in your nursery plants. Dig the holes twice as wide as the root ball.
Here is a link to refresh you on how to plant and care for Impatiens plants.