New England

July, 2009
Regional Report

Stop Pruning Roses

Stop pruning and leave spent flowers on rose bushes to allow the fruits -- rose hips -- to develop. This signals to the plant that it's time to start winding down and begin the slow process of entering dormancy. Pruning and deadheading delays this process and can lead to winter injury.

Plan for Vacation

If you'll be away from home for more than a few days, take steps to keep container plants healthy. If possible, have a neighbor water plants daily or as needed. If that's not an option, move containers to a shady location and water plants thoroughly before you go. Group small containers together and set in a shallow basin filled with an inch or two of water. Self-watering containers are a good choice if you travel frequently during the summer.

Tending Plants in Rainy Weather

To avoid spreading disease during rainy weather, try to avoid walking among your plants when they are wet. It's not too late to spread hay or straw mulch, which can help keep soil-borne disease spores from splashing up onto plants.

Collect Seeds

Collect seeds from early-maturing plants, such as lupines, and either replant immediately or place in tightly sealed glass jars in a cool, dark location. You can also allow the plants to drop their seeds naturally, then plan to transplant new plants next spring.

Cut Back for Rebloom

Some summer-blooming plants, including tall phlox, bee balm, and delphinium, will produce a few more blooms in fall if you cut them back by about a third now, or as soon as they're through with their primary bloom.

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