Timely Advice to Keep Your Garden Healthy and Blooming
by Nellie Neal
the patio or the deck, peeking out from under big trees or standing sentinel
at your front door, plants in containers brighten up every summer day. Plant
large pots of one or many varieties and add some organic matter to your
potting soil – bigger pots with heavier soil won’t dry out as fast as
small ones with light soilless mixes in them. Water as often as needed to
prevent wilting, fertilize every other weekend with a flower formula you mix
in water and feel free to prune lightly to shape them to your pleasure and
keep the flowers coming.
encouraging beneficial critters, such as birds and beneficial insects, to
make your garden their home. Plant a diversity of flower colors and shapes,
keep mulch around your plants and provide a water source, especially in
summer. Any water feature will do, from simple misters to big ponds. Or put
a pot saucer on a stand among your containers or in the garden bed and fill
it when you water them.
flowers in pots and beds have one goal in their short lives: to set seed for
the next generation. Clip those fading flowers off before they make seed and
they’ll try again. It’s hard work for the plants to keep flowering,
though, so water them with a soluble fertilizer formulated for flowering
each time you ‘deadhead’ the blooms. Plant heatloving varieties like
vinca and zinnia after the soil is truly warmed up.
an eye on trees during this season of rapid growth to prevent a few insects
from becoming a munching mob. Look for webs forming around stems in the
tree’s canopy – they’re full of bagworms and should be physically
removed. If you see whole branches with dead leaves at midseason, check for
an obvious cause – a cut or oozing at its base or a reddening of the dying
leaves that indicates blight. Either way, cut the dead branch off, plus six
inches of what still seems healthy.