Now that we’ve finally finished planting our spring flowerbeds and containers, it’s time to think about plant maintenance. If properly cared for, many varieties of annuals and perennials will provide colorful blooms throughout the entire summer and into the fall. Below are a few tips on how to keep your flowers looking good this summer.
Remove faded blooms of summer flowering annuals and perennials. This will encourage more blooms as well as thicker, healthier, greener foliage.
Check hanging baskets twice daily, they can dry out faster.
Fertilize your blooming annuals every two weeks with liquid fertilizer high in phosphorous. It will increase flower bud growth, produce bigger blooms and extend the flowering season.
When watering plants and containers, water them thoroughly. If it’s a container garden make sure the water drains through the entire pot and out the drainage holes underneath the pot. When watering flowerbeds, water them deeply. Let the sprinklers run for 10 minutes or longer to insure the roots get plenty of water.
Water early in the morning. This allows the water on the leaves to dry out before the sun goes down preventing fungus and disease.
Planning a vacation this summer? Don’t forget to put your plants on vacation, too. Place container gardens in a shady cool area of the garden and make sure they receive an adequate water supply (automated sprinkler system or helpful neighbor!) Place a clay or plastic tray under each of your containers and fill it with water so those plant roots may drink from the bottom up. This may help provide sufficient water for a day or two.
As always, call your local garden centers if you need any special information on summer plant care. Their professional staff will be glad to help.