Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Deadheading and some other August chores



It’s not only what you plant but how you care for your plants that encourages blooming through the season. Now is the time for a mid-season clean up in your garden. You need to look at beds and borders, containers and hanging baskets with a critical eye. Keeping your garden looking its best means removing fading and spent flowers, as well as cleaning up leaves, branches and debris.
Most annuals and perennials do their best when you remove fading blooms early, before they begin to form seeds. In gardening terms it’s called deadheading, which simply means pruning off the old flowers. This keeps the garden neat and promotes additional blooms as well. Get in the habit of deadheading while you walk through your garden. It’s easy to carry a pair of light pruners with you as you make your rounds.
As you spot a blossom beginning to fade snip or pinch it off.
Sometimes you’ll need to snip it off, while other times you can simply pinch off old flowers. While you’re at it, check the plant for bugs or disease problems. Getting on a problem early is the best way to control it. 
Stems and leaves can get damaged or wear out through the course of the season. Now’s the time to remove them.  
The lower parts of veronica and salvia can really look bad this time of year. Prune them hard and they will come back strong by fall.
Check your roses and remove spent blossoms. Do the same for your container plants, including your hanging baskets.
While you’re at it, take a hard look at your vegetables. Removing dead and diseased leaves on your tomato plants will put more energy into fruit production. Keeping pace with dead-heading and cleanup makes it a lot easier when the gardening season wraps up.

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