Monitor rainfall with a rain gauge. One inch of rain a week is ideal for most gardens, and new plantings may need more depending on temperatures.
Deadhead and groom annuals. Removing spent blooms keeps plants producing more flowers instead of putting energy into seed. Vigorously growing container plants that are swamping out their companions (sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas, Zones 9-11) and coleus (Plectranthus scutellariodes, Zones 10-12) are excellent examples) can be cut back to restore balance to containers.
Take time to visit botanical gardens and arboreta. Visiting public gardens is a great way to learn new plants, gain design inspiration, and renew your love of gardening.
Prune deadwood from shade trees, since dead branches are easily visible. However, avoid pruning oaks (Quercus spp., Zones 4-10) from April to October to reduce the risk of oak wilt.
Erin Presley is a horticulturist at Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison, Wisconsin.
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