Summer Garden Care
By Kim Dyer, Greenhouse Manager
I have said it before and it's worth repeating - Gardening in the midwest is hard and getting harder!! To be a gardener here, one has to be tough, tenacious and anything but a quitter. So, don't give up. Seriously, this has been an odd year with a warm winter, a hot and dry spring and who knows what summer will bring. I have some reminders of things you may consider doing to keep your gardens and containers in tip top shape. First of all, keep everything hydrated and remember that a deep soaking less often is better than a sprinkle every day. Most plants benefit from about 1" per week. Well, how much is that? Place a tuna or cat food can in the area to be watered and the can will be full after about an inch.
Normally, I would recommend a consistent fertilizer schedule of once every two weeks but this only applies if the plants are not stressed by heat or drought. If that is the case, water first and fertilize a few days later but only mix the fertilizer half strength.
Be sure to keep bloomers deadheaded for best performance. I always recommend trimming your sedums, mums and asters around Memorial Day and again on 4th of July for fuller plants and an abundant bloom. Simply give the plant a haircut taking of about half. It sound severe and looks silly for a few days but will really make a difference in your fall display.
After you complete any containers you may have, take a good look at your perennial beds or other planted areas. Assess what looks good and what, if anything, needs to be moved, replaced or renovated. Regardless of whether you need annuals, tropicals or perennials, we still have a greenhouse full of nice plants. June is perennial month so we will be fully stocked with great plants for your midwest garden.
Expect some odd behaviors in the garden this year. Plants that are taller or shorter than normal, shorter bloom time and other oddities. Nothing to do but enjoy and sometimes laugh at how Mother Nature deals with stress. I encourage you to try something new in your yard this year. We have some new favorites here at the nursery we would love to show you. Good luck this summer! See you in the greenhouse.More Articles