Surviving The Hot Months

You know how it goes.  You get excited during the spring months about planting your annual flowers.  Expectations of a colorful flower garden all summer long are at an all time high.  You go into the greenhouse and are hit right in the face with beautiful, thriving combinations everywhere you turn.  You load up your cart, hand the cashier your credit card, and are on your way.  

Usually in Ohio, we have seasonably warm days mixed in with a few extreme highs and lows from May until Father's day.  That is great for newly planted annuals.  They are busy growing their roots like crazy, while staying in constant bloom.

Then comes summertime.  July and August can be pretty brutal and your flowers are reflecting a struggle.  Whether they are rootbound, or just would rather cooler temperatures, there are things you can do to help them through these months and last well into the fall.

1. Keep them watered!  Instead of focusing on watering them daily, check them a couple times a day.  If they are dry, water them!  

2. Don't count rain as a watering!  It takes quite a bit of rain to water a potted plant.  When in doubt, check them out!

3. Keep fertilizing.  Fertilize once or twice a week to keep your flowers growing and blooming.

4. Groom your plants!  Deadhead dead or dying blooms.  This will let your plant give more energy to growing instead of trying to get that spent bloom to live.  Some plants tend to get leggy and straggly.  Trimming is a perfect way to keep the structure of your plant healthy and bushy.  This will also lengthen the life of your plant as well as making it easier to keep it watered.

5. Pay attention to the weather!  If there is going to be severe, pull your hanging baskets down, put your containers in a protected area.  If it is going to be super hot, with all sun all the time, put your containers in the shade.  These are easy ways to give your plants a break from unnecessary stress.

Basically, anyone can absolutely keep their flowers happy and healthy all summer long.  Follow these simple tips and enjoy your home flower garden just as you planned when you purchased your plants in the spring!