Many feel this is the end of summer, and for many summer activities that may be true. Children are back in school. Swimming pools will be closing in the very near future. Family vacations are over. Labor Day weekend is just around the corner.
But for the plants growing in our gardens, it ain’t over yet.
The hot weather often extends through September and, as in the past couple years, extends into early October. As long as conditions are right, there are many plants that will still be growing. In fact, many flowers will get their second breath and put on another good display of color that lasts almost until frost. Fall and winter food plants are just now getting started.
Every year, I look forward to the time when I can stop “deadheading” my petunias. Every fall, I promise myself I will plant fewer, but every spring, I still plant just as many. To keep these bedding plants flowering, it is important to remove the dead flower heads regularly. At this time of year, I am doing that at least twice a week, but they will look better if I can do it every day.
Back in May and June, it was not that big of a deal. It just took a few minutes as needed. But since mid-summer, I have spent about an hour each time. Add to that, the standard petunias keep getting leggy, so I need to head them back occasionally to they don’t look like weeds. The wave petunias keep running and producing flowers. It is like the are in a race to stay ahead of me.