Perk Up Your Plants

Show your garden a little TLC to keep them healthy into fall

After weeks of heat, gardens can appear a little neglected. It’s tempting to look the other way when plants get floppy and flowers fade. But a little TLC can make a big difference.

Here are a few simple things you can do to keep your garden bright and refreshed until the cooler days of autumn:

  • Deadhead spent flowers. You’ll give the plants extra energy, and you might even get repeat blooms before the plants go dormant in the fall.
  • Apply sea kelp and/or Epsom salts, in liquid or powder form. These organic products have been shown to encourage plant vitality, stronger roots and resilience to harsh weather. Follow application directions on the package.
  • During dry spells, water plants liberally in the morning before the high heat of the day. Hanging baskets might need daily watering during the hottest days.
  • Pull a few weeds each day, which will keep you ahead of the task and save you time during the weekend.
  • Trim off dead foliage to prevent spreading diseases to other plants.

These are just a few ideas to keep your garden fresh during the dog days of summer.

Beth Stetenfeld is a McFarland-based editor and writer and the creator of the gardening blogPlantPostings.com.

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