Monday, August 2, 2010

Things to do in August

Deadheading is one of those really satisfying chores. When you have finished everything looks neater and flowers more abundantly. The purpose of a flower is to attract pollinating insects and birds so the plant can produce seed. Once flowers start going to seed most plants will stop flowering or not flower as prolifically as before. If you interrupt this cycle by keeping pollinated or seed-bearing blooms removed from your perennials and annuals they will put their energy into producing more flowers instead of seed. Deadheading will also keep invasive species from self-sowing and taking over. Plants that only bloom once such as Creeping Phlox (Phlox subulata) and Candytuft (Iberis) should be cut back by half after blooming. Other perennials that bloom continuously over a long period of time like Coreopsis, Scabiosa, Yarrow (Achillea), Coneflowers (Echinacea), Blanket Flower (Gailardia) and many more should be deadheaded by removing spent flowers down to where a new bud has formed or to a spot of active growth. When the deadheads outnumber the flowers shear the whole plant to the foliage and it will soon rebloom. Annuals such as Marigolds, Petunias, and Zinnias should be deadheaded as well. Prune or pinch dead blooms at the base. Towards the end of the season you may want to let desirable plants go to seed and don't forget to leave some seedheads for winter birds to enjoy.

Mulch, Mulch, Mulch. I always talk about the benefits of mulching. A good layer of mulch in your vegetable garden, around your trees and shrubs or in the perennial bed will conserve moisture, keep the sun from beating down directly on those little surface roots, regulate the soil temperature year round, suppress weeds and make the ones that do show up easier to pull. If you use Back to Earth Compost it will slowly break down and add humic acid to the soil.

We will always stock Back to Earth Compost as well as Composted Manure, Top Soil and our great Uni-Gro Potting Soil. We have a good supply of Trees, Shrubs and Perennials and the honest advice to help you be successful in your gardening efforts.

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