Keep your garden looking pretty and orderly by regularly thinning and deadheading.
Thinning and deadheading are two measures that add to the good looks of your garden. Thinning refers to selectively eliminating plants or stems. The end result is a more attractive and healthier garden.
If your garden contains mildew-prone perennials, such as phlox and beebalm (Monarda didyma), you must ensure adequate air circulation to deter the formation of the fungus. This is simply a matter of periodically cutting enough stems to the ground so that the remaining ones are not crowded. Such surgery in no way harms the plant. Thinning must be done regularly, however, because once mildew sets in it is hard to control without resorting to chemicals.
One easy way to thin plants is to inspect new shoots in the spring. If -- as is often the case with phlox -- they appear crowded together, simply cut out the woody center of each clump.
Deadheading is a grim-sounding term that describes cutting off the unattractive dead heads of flowers in your beds and borders. While deadheading is not essential, it certainly provides great rewards by prolonging the bloom period of most plants, preventing self-seeders from seeding, and ensuring a freshness and neatness in the garden.
Most plants are genetically programmed to produce seeds. Once seed is produced, the plant's function is completed and it can appropriately wither or simply settle in as a foliage plant. If you cut the flower before the seed sets, however, the plant must produce another flower in order to fulfill its goal. The glory of modern breeding is the creation of sterile cultivars; these literally do not know how to stop producing flowers. If you wish to reduce deadheading in your perennial garden, choose sterile cultivars.
Hi, I'm Justin. Here in the Better Homes and Gardens Test Garden today, talk about ways to keep your garden looking as great as it can. One of the easiest things you can do is deadhead. While the term may not sound very friendly, simply put, is removing the dead flowers off your plants. There are lots of reasons to deadhead your plants. One of my favorites is that you can get extra blooms from them. On this white flax for example, if you cut the stalk right here, this little side shoot will grow into a whole new stalk that blooms so you can enjoy it for several weeks. We deadheaded this flax a couple of weeks ago and you can see why it's such a great thing to re-bloom. We took the stalk off right here, and already, those clusters are producing the flowers. Should you pick up your dead flowers and throw 'em on compost pit or just let them drop on the ground? It's really up to you. If you're a neat and tidy gardener, you'll probably wanna throw them in the compost, but if you don't mind and decomposing right in your garden and adding to your soil structure there, it's fine to leave it fall. Another great reason to deadhead is you'll stop your plants from dropping seeds all over your garden. Some, like this black-eyed Susan, are notorious for that. If you don't cut off the dead flowers, you'll end up with a million unwanted seedlings all over your beds and borders next year. This stem of Russian sage was mostly done. So, we can cut off right here. It'll make the garden look better, but it also does another thing, the plant won't produce seeds, and if it doesn't put its energy into making seeds, the energy goes back into the root system. So, next year, we'll have a stronger, more flowering plant. The important part about deadheading is removing the faded flowers. It doesn't really matter where you do it on the plant; however, it'll look best in your garden if you cut it all the way back to the junction of a stem and a stalk. This will also give you the best chance to re-bloom because the new bloom shoots come out of that junction between the stem and a stalk. So, cut it all the way back, it'll look great and you probably get some re-bloom out of it too. So, spent a few minutes deadheading in your garden every week, you'll be amazed with the results.