Annual and perennial mixed garden
image by S.F. Heron
In the early part of the growing season, flower gardens often explode with a riot of colors on healthy, strong plants. As the growing season progresses, flowers suffer from lack of water, heat and lack of adequate fertilizer. Caring for garden flowers involves simple activities to help your plants survive through the warmest part of the growing season.
Visit your garden daily to determine how much maintenance the plot needs. Look for dried or wilting plants, excessive weed growth or plants that might need staking.
Water your garden frequently, especially during the hottest part of the summer. Flowers take a lot of energy out of a plant. Adequate water is a must for a continually blooming plant. Large spaces between blooms and spindly stems are a sure sign of a dried-out flowering perennial or annual. The soil should be damp but not soggy.
Use a trowel to dig up weeds instead of simply ripping them out by the stems. Proper removal will discourage future weed growth. Some stubborn weeds extend trailer roots underground. Remove as much of the root as possible to prevent future weed outbreaks. Weed weekly or as often as necessary to keep the garden looking its best.
Clip back any dead flowers, stems or leaves on your flowers. Slight pruning regenerates a plant by channeling the energy back into the plant rather than focusing it on a dying flower. Make cuts with the pruning shears at a 45-degree angle on the stem to encourage fast curing of the wound.
Apply mulch around your flowers to help retain moisture in the soil and reduce weed growth. A good mulch base will also break down over time to add nutrients to the soil.
Fertilize with an organic, all-purpose fertilizer every few weeks during the main part of the growing season. This encourages blooms and healthy soil for optimum growth.
Winterize your garden at the end of the growing season. Remove dead growth from perennials before the harsh winter weather to allow the plant to go dormant for the winter. Leaving dead foliage on a plant invites pests and disease into your garden.