• July: Do Not Fertilize Your Perennials

    At this time of year, most perennials neither need nor want to be fertilized.  An exception would be delphiniums which will appreciate a feeding after their first bloom period.  Use a balanced organic, water soluble fertilizer.

  • July: Picking Peas and Beans

    Use two hands or a pair of secateurs when picking peas and beans.  The top should come off with the bean/pea rather than being left on the plant.  Pulling the beans/peas off with one hand will often result in breaking a branch off the plant or pulling the entire plant out of the ground.  Pick often to encourage the plants to continue to produce fruit.

     

  • July: Flopping Perennials

    Some late spring/early summer perennials such as golden marguerite, some shasta daisies and artemisia ‘flop open’ or lay down.  Cut them down to the crown when the bloom period is over.  If this action is done early enough in the summer, the plant will produce new growth.  The foliage on other perennials such as the Centaurea montana will become extremely unattractive after blooming. Cut such foliage to the ground and allow new growth to occur.

  • July: Groom Tomato Plants

    Continue to pinch out, or cut off, side shoots from tall growing (indeterminate) tomatoes. It’s not necessary to remove them from bush type tomatoes.

  • July: Propagate Shrubs with Cuttings

    Take softwood cuttings of shrubs such as buddleia, weigela, rose-of-sharon and roses. Place them in pots of moist sand or potting soil, then cover them with a plastic bag, glass jar or large plastic pop bottle, creating a mini-greenhouse. When strong roots have formed, move to a protected spot in the garden.

  • July: Keep Up with Weeding

    Pull weeds as they grow and use mulch in your flower beds to prevent them from sprouting. If you can’t pull them all, at least cut off their tops to prevent them from seeding; this will mean fewer weeds next year.

  • July: Pinch Back Herbs

    Periodically pinch basil if you don’t harvest it weekly. Pinching keeps it from flowering and ensure you have a full, bushy-looking plant. Mint, oregano, and savory can also be pinched to promote bushier growth.

     

  • July: Trim Early Season Bloomers

    Cut back early-season bloomers, such as delphinium, daisy, and campanula by 1/2 to 1/3. New growth will sprout and a second flowering may occur.

  • June: Taking Indoor Plants Outside

    Indoor plants can be put outside for the summer but remember that the outdoor conditions differ greatly from indoors.  The light is much stronger; there is more wind; outdoor temperatures are more varied.  Acclimatize them gradually for a few days and find a location that gives them some protection from the sun and wind.  They will need to be watered more frequently and will need to be fed.  Some plants such as the ficus benjamina do not like to be moved.

  • June: Trimming Early Blooming, Low Growing Perennials

    Low growing spring perennials such as phlox subulata and aubrietia need to have a little trim after the blossoms have faded – a little off the top and a little off the sides helps to keep the plant in good shape.  The job can easily be done with a pair of shears.