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Southern Plains Regional Reports

Garden Maintenance for the Heat of Late Summer

How to put your garden to rest for the season

Now is a perfect time to deadhead spent perennials like this purple coneflower. Photo: Karen Beaty.

Summers in the Southern Plains can be real scorchers. While gardeners in more northern climates are forced to rest their gardens completely for a long winter spell, those of us gardening farther south know that our gardens need a summer break too. Our summer gardening break tends to be shorter and less drastic than the winter break, but there are several things we can do to help put our gardens to rest for that late summer heat.

Clean up

large coneflowers cut back to rosettes
These large coneflowers have been cut back to rosettes. Photo: Karen Beaty.

At this point, many plants have finished their showy season and are either dead (annuals) or have dried leaves, stalks, and flowers (perennials) that can be removed from the garden and composted. It’s easy to pull annuals and chuck them straight into the compost pile. For perennials such as large coneflower (Rudbeckia maxima, Zones 5–9), you may want to…

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