Keep planting. Take advantage of early summer rain and cooler temps by continuing to plant trees, shrubs, and perennials, which can be done anytime throughout the summer as long as nature (or you) can provide adequate moisture for establishment.
Fill in the gaps. Once perennials have emerged and bulb foliage has faded, fill gaps in flower beds with potted annuals or flowers that grow quickly from seed, such as zinnias (Zinnia spp. and cvs., annual), cosmos (Cosmos spp. and cvs., annual), or marigolds (Tagetes spp. and cvs., annual).
Prune spring-flowering shrubs. Shrubs such as forsythia (Forsythia spp. and cvs., Zones 5–8), viburnum (Viburnum spp. and cvs., Zones 4–8), and lilacs (Syringa spp. and cvs., Zones 3–7) can be pruned just after blooming.
Do the Chelsea Chop. Promote branching and minimize flopping of late-season perennials such as asters, perennial sunflowers (Helianthus spp. and cvs., Zones 4–9), and bee balm (Monarda spp. and cvs., Zones 4–9) by pinching them back by a third in early June.
For more information on the Chelsea Chop, read “What’s the Deal with the Chelsea Chop?” by Danielle Sherry, found here.
Erin Presley is a horticulturist at Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison, Wisconsin.
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