I don’t know about you, but it seems that during the month of July, the flowers in our planters and beds always start looking stressed and not as fresh as they did when they were just planted. Long days of high heat and not much rain can just suck the life out of them. Even though I water them frequently, the flowers might not always meet their full potential. I have five tips for late summer gardening that can enhance tired plants, give them a second lease on life, and even add some color to your home. When I follow these steps, I can count on our flowers blooming and thriving until it’s time to replace them in the fall. Oh, and last year we posted some great tips for freshening up outdoor spaces, too. You can check them out here.
REFRESH YOUR ANNUALS – If my annuals start looking “leggy”, I give them a big ole haircut. This goes for the ones in the ground and the ones in our planters. They might not look so great for a week or two, but when they grow back, they will be bushier and produce even more flowers. I often do this right before we leave for a vacation so that they can get through the ugly stage while we are away. Also, a nice drink of mid-summer fertilizer will also give them a boost. Oh, and if you have some geraniums you want to hold over until next year, follow this advice.
CUT BACK HERBS SO THEY WILL GROW AGAIN – I love cooking with fresh herbs in the summer. Our herb garden is right beside the back door, and it is so easy to just clip, clip, clip what I need before each meal. Adding fresh herbs to a dish really brings out the flavors. One of the things I love about herbs is that if I cut them back for cooking, they just grow right back and are fuller than before. If you have herbs but don’t cook with them, then just cut them back. They will regrow and look even better.
CHECK OUT SALES AT GARDEN CENTERS – Now is a good time to replace any of your annuals that aren’t thriving. Most garden centers have drastically reduced the prices on annuals by now, so it won’t break the bank to replace some or all of your annuals. Some of the annuals in our courtyard haven’t been growing well, so I just plucked them out and added new ones. When doing this, I was sure to add a root fertilizer like Quick Start.
BRING SOME OUTDOOR PLANTS INDOORS – I love fresh flowers spread around the house. Even though my courtyard flowers aren’t grand, I can still use them to make tiny bouquets for the powder room, bedside table, bar, and foyer. Bringing some outdoor flowers in for small arrangements will brighten up your home’s interior. It will also make your annuals think they need to get to work and produce some more blossoms. You can also mix your garden’s flowers in with some you buy at the market.
WATER AND FEED – It might be time-consuming, but be sure to water your flowers if you haven’t been getting much rain. I always do my watering as soon as I get home from my morning work-out. My mother waters her flowers in the evening. The thing to avoid is mid-day watering because the water will evaporate so quickly that the flowers won’t get the full benefit. I have been told that watering them at night can create a mildew or mold problem because the plants have water standing on their leaves overnight. However, my mother has never had this problem, and her garden is gorgeous. Adding some fertilizer now and then will help too, but don’t overdo it.
Hopefully, you will follow these easy steps and get a bigger wow!!! factor from your garden.