Mid-summer doldrums? I think that's what I might have. That time of summer when I really don't feel like getting out there and weeding and deadheading, but I know I should. We've been lucky in that it hasn't been too hot here. We've had a few warm days, but nothing intolerable. Nice days for doing gardening work (if you feel like doing it). But even if I only get out there for 20 minutes I can pull some weeds and deadhead the flowers. I keep trying to talk myself into it-
It's still important to weed this time of year because the weeds are taking water and valuable resources like minerals from your soil that your plants can use. When you weed now, you're preventing those weeds from forming seeds and multiplying in your garden.
|Japanese Irises (bloom later than tall-bearded irises)|
This is a good time to cut back some of your perennials that are dying back, like the bleeding hearts. I already started cutting some of them back that have turned yellow.
It's important also, to keep any newly planted tree, shrub or perennial watered. This time of year it can get pretty dry. Also, your container planters might have to be watered once a day if they dry out from wind and heat. You don't need to water your grass if it turns brown. It is just going dormant. When things cool down and it starts raining again it will continue to flourish.
Give your containers and annuals some liquid fertilizer if you haven't done so recently.
You can cut back some of your annuals (like petunias) if they are starting to get leggy. Daylilies that are finished blooming, and irises can be divided now. If you missed my blog post last year on dividing perennials here is the link to it: Dividing Perennials.
|Shrub: Spirea japonica "Shirobana'|
|Close up of Spirea japonica "Shirobana'. I love all the colors on this shrub.|
Some of my daylilies have finished blooming, but some of the later ones will continue to bloom for a few more weeks. Because our growing season is so short the re-blooming daylilies and irises are not dependable for a second bloom (other than the Stella D'Oro daylilies).
|Bee Balm (otherwise known as Oswego Tea or Monarda)|
Bee Balm (otherwise known as Monarda or Oswego Tea): my son used to call these perennials fire-cracker flowers! And sometimes they bloom early around the 4th of July. They can be aggressive in your gardens so be careful where you plant them. Last year I purchased two dwarf varieties of Bee Balm and they both came up this year. I planted one in a small rock garden, and the other one I planted with some miniature hostas. More info on Bee Balm
One of my favorite perennials is the Ligularia- The Rocket, photographed below. It adds some height to the gardens and structure. They have large, deep-lobed leaves. This plant does best planted in an area that receives some sun (I found that morning sun is best), and is moist. The plant will collapse if it dries out from too much sun or heat. I read where this plant does fine in shade, so when I first purchased it I planted it in the shade. Well, it was growing kind of slow, and the flowers weren't very tall. So last year my husband dug it up and divided it up into three divisions and re-planted it in areas that received more sun. The results were a great improvement. They are doing wonderful in their new sites.
|Ligularia: The Rocket|
|Close-up: Ligularia: The Rocket|
"Remember to be gentle with yourself and others. We are all children of chance and none can say why some fields will blossom while others lay brown beneath the August sun."
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