Here is a list of some easy things to do to help keep your garden under control and looking good throughout the summer season.

1. Beware of insects such as aphids or white flies that become rampant as our plants grow larger and have less circulation between them. Remember to spray both upper and lower leaves with neem or pyola oil on a seven to 10 day cycle to keep these crit
ters from destroying your plants. Also, order some beneficial insects such as ladybugs to help keep these insects under control.

2. Prune back your rose bushes after the first bloom. You can either dead head the spent blooms or do a major cutting back to keep them tame and under control. I tend to do the latter. Cut back all weak and dead wood as well. Lastly, clean up all spent leaves especially if they suffered from black spot. Plus, if black spot is a problem, use this homemade formula: Mix one tablespoon of baking soda and a 1/4 teaspoon of dish washing detergent in one gallon of water.

3. Continue to pinch back all late summer and fall perennials to keep them bushy and healthy and to stagger blooming times.

4. Finish pruning all spring blooming bushes such as azaleas, rhododendrons, lilacs by mid-summer so that they can begin their new growth for next spring.

5. It is still not too late to plant summer blooming bulbs like dahlias or cannas. It’s also not too late to plant quick-blooming summer seeds such as sunflowers, nasturtiums and cosmos.

Enjoy and have patience during the ensuing hot summer months!

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