The secret to a long summer flower show is deadheading -- removing dead blooms on annuals, perennials, and roses. Snipping dead blossoms encourages the plant to form more flower buds.
If annuals in your flower garden look scraggly and tired, cut them back by one-third or more. New growth will emerge in time for a late summer show.
Early-summer perennials, such as daisy, campanula, and delphinium, may form more flower buds if you cut plants back after bloom. Remove one-half to one-third of existing growth.
Many late-summer and fall bloomers tend to grow tall and fall over. Flop-prone perennials include aster, goldenrod, Joe Pye weed, and Russian sage. To prevent this, cut plants back by one-third by the first week of July.
Test Garden Tip: Check container gardens daily; water when soil is dry. Give plants a water soluble bloom booster fertilizer every 10-14 days to increase the number of flowers you see.
Continued on page 2: July Watering in the Midwest Garden