Summertime And The Gardening Is Easy

With a week of rain, heat, and high humidity ahead, there are easy chores that need to be done. Here are a few I am doing in my garden now.

Container of caladiums grown from tubers

Container grown plants need watering even if we have rain. By now they are filling the pots with roots, so their need for water has increased to the point that most need water daily. Also remember to liquid feed every couple of weeks to keep new foliage and/or flowers producing.

Summer pruning of loropetalum

Prune shrubs now for shape and to remove unwanted branches. Be sure you make your cuts deep into the plant, so the cuts cannot be seen or a leaf will cover them. Azaleas need to be pruned now and not too much later in the summer, if you want a profusion of flowers next spring. If your azaleas are the Encore type, prune and shape immediately after each flowering.

White eggplant

Don’t let your vegetables linger on the plants once they mature. Even if you have too many vegetables right now pick them anyway to keep the plants producing through out the summer. This is especially true of things like eggplant, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, and beans. Most friends appreciate being gifted vegetables.

Yellow leaves on nippon lily or rhodea

Grooming is an easy chore in the garden. A well groomed garden that has yellow, dead, diseased leaves removed make a plant and garden look much better. Also spent flowers and stalks that have blooomed out should be removed down to right above a leaf. Another important thing is to keep a clean edge on your flower and turf areas. It always improves the look of the garden.

Pinching basil

Basil and other herbs need to have their flowers removed to keep them producing the leaves that we like for cooking. Clip or pinch the terminals that are forming flower buds. Also if the plants put up a flower shoot like parsley and cilantro, remove them as soon as they are visible to prolong their growing season.

John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

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