What and When to Fertilize
by Nellie Neal
Whatever size your garden, summer
will keep you busy. Small spaces like patios and balconies no doubt
overflow with container plants and they need attention. Annual flowers in
pots will bloom for months if you’ll keep the old flowers picked off and
fertilize with a soluble flower food every two weeks.
and herbs in pots can use the same fertilizer as annual flowers, but may
need more frequent watering to set fruit and sumptious cooking herbs. Look
for dwarf varieties of squash, melons, and pumpkins to add to that patio
Get out into the garden bed and seed
more annual flowers for blooms well into fall. Zinnias, marigolds, cosmos,
and moss roses grow easily from seed most anywhere in the country and
little hands love to help plant them. Deadhead annuals as they bloom to
keep the flowers coming.
back stems on perennials that have finished blooming, and fertilize them
with a slow release flower formula fertilizer. Give them new mulch or
compost and keep them watered over the summer.
a fine time to take cuttings of many popular shrubs and they’ll root
easily in a combination of damp sand and peat moss or potting soil. Try
some of these to add to your landscape or share with friends: Abelia,
Butterfly bush, Beautyberry, Camellia, Cotoneaster, Daphne, Eleagnus, Hebe,
Hydrangea, Hollies, Nandina, Sweet Olive, Rose, and Lilacs.
a good look at your roses. The once-only spring bloomers can be trimmed
back to shape them now and you can root the cuttings. Repeat bloomers and
many climbers will continue to flower; be sure to give them light
applications of fertilizer and plenty of water. Hybrid tea roses will need
more attention: spray them to prevent diseases and use a fertilizer
containing systemic insecticide to discourage aphids and thrips.