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Chores for the Summer Garden

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Along with the heat and humidity of a Bluegrass summer, come the garden chores most of use hate – deadheading, dividing, and pruning. While the heat may try and keep you out of the garden, try to pick a time early in the morning or late in the evening to practice these chores.

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Deadheading: Perennials and annuals both need to be deadheaded in order to produce more flowers. Deadheading mean to pinch or cut off the dead flowers from each plant. This can be a time consuming job, but it needs to be done. Deadheading annuals will allow for more blooms to continue into the fall of the year. Deadheading perennials will also provide more blooms, but it will also help the roots to continue growing and spreading.

Dividing: Although most perennials should be divided in the fall, several can survive and thrive from dividing during the summer months. This is the perfect time to divide Iris’ and daylilies because you will still remember what colors you have. These divisions can be transplanted to other areas of the garden and will benefit from extra watering for the first few weeks.

Pruning: Pruning can also regenerate certain plants and encourage a second growth through the rest of the growing season. Shasta daisies, Coreopsis, Russian sage and Purple coneflower can be cut in half and they will produce new growth by the fall blooming season. Pruning can also be used on fall flowering perennials by “pinching” them back before their bloom season. This will provide a bushier plant with more blooms. Some of these plants are Chrysanthemum, Delphinium, Summer phlox, Joe-pye weed, Goldenrod and Ironweed.

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