Deadheading is a must. Many annuals and perennials need to be deadheaded to keep plants looking good and blooming all season. Such plants include geraniums (Geranium spp. and cvs., Zones 4-8), certain petunias (Petunia spp. and cvs., Zones 10-11), marigolds (Tagetes spp. and cvs., annual), salvia (Saliva spp. and cvs., Zones 4-11), and roses (Rosa spp. and cvs., Zones 3-9).
Cut back late bloomers. Fall-flowering plants such as asters (Aster, Eurybia, and Symphyotrichum spp. and cvs., Zones 3-10) mums (Chrysanthemum spp. and cvs., Zones 5-9), goldenrod (Solidago spp. and cvs., Zones 3-9), sedum (Sedum spp. and cvs., Zones 3-11), and Joe-pye weed (Eutrochium purpureum, Zones 4-9) can be cut back to make them shorter and stockier when they bloom. Cut their current growth three quarters of the way back this month to have them looking great and in bloom this fall.
Care for tomatoes. Keep tomatoes pruned and staked or place in cages. Prevent blossom-end rot of tomato by providing deep and regular watering with drip irrigation or soaker hoses in addition to mulching for water conservation.
Andy Pulte is a faculty member in the Plant Sciences department at the University of Tennessee.
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