Midsummer Garden Checkup
Cutting Back Overgrown Plants
More than just “deadheading” to get the most of your plant’s bloom cycle, or simply maintaining good form for shrubs. Petunias are perhaps the most widely planted annual that I continuously get questions about regarding proper ways to cut them back or if certain varieties even need cutting back. The answer is yes… it only makes them bloom better, and much more shapely when the extra step is taken to cut them back when they are leggy or sparse after a long hot summer.
Weeding keeps a garden going strong and your prized perennials/annuals even stronger. Most people run out and ask for a weed killer/spray at first sight of a weed. Spraying could potentially harm neighboring plants and doesn’t always get the job done with precision. Learn to identify weeds (otherwise known as an “unwanted” plant) among your existing plants. Knowing the type of weed you have and why they thrive in certain areas of your lawn/garden can help you understand why they are there (i.e. soil problems you may have) to fight against future infestations. Some are extremely clever and can disguise themselves to grow in between your planted perennials/annuals until they seed without you even knowing. Most practical
method is to get down in there and do it by hand.
Identify Disease/Fungal or Possible Pest problems
Contact a local botanic garden, your master gardeners network, and or a specialty garden centers, for assistant in the identification process and how you can remedy them. Plants are truthfully no different than us when it comes to their health. It is always beneficial to recognize when something doesn’t look right and take care of the problems in your garden, before the infestation gets out of hand and destroys all your hard work throughout the growing season and sometimes years in the making.
Herbs – store fresh herbs in ice cube containers or plastic zip bags with water and freeze until ready to use.