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Midwest Regional Reports

Midwest: August Garden To-Do List

Alliums, like these chives, can be cut back to the ground for fresh growth. Photo: Erin Presley.

Bloomed out perennials such as catmint (Nepeta and cvs., Zones 3–9), veronica (Veronica spp. and cvs., Zones 4–10), stachys (Stachys spp. and cvs., Zones 4–8), lady’s mantle (Allchemilla spp. and cvs., Zones 3–7), and alliums (Allium spp. and cvs., Zones 3–11) may look tired and floppy by late summer. Cut them back to the ground and they will come back with fresh growth.

Make sure thirsty, root-bound containers get plenty of water. A boost of liquid fertilizer revives tired containers and promotes new flowers going into fall.

When irrigating, focus on applying water right at the base of plants, and water early in the day to reduce water loss. Use a watering wand and a rosette to provide a consistent shower that has time to infiltrate. Deep watering once a week is better than two or three shallow waterings.

Evaluate and enjoy your gardens! Note plants that need to be transplanted, divided, or removed this fall or next spring. Spend some quiet time admiring and perhaps photographing your favorite garden areas.

evaluating the garden
Photo: Erin Presley

Erin Presley is a horticulturist at Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison, Wisconsin.

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