As late summer kicks into gear, you can boost the number of blooms in your garden with a simple actions.
Move ‘em out. Remove faded flowers faithfully on blooming plants—annuals and perennials. Picking dead blossoms prevents plants from setting seed, which means they’ll form more flowers. As Labor Day arrives, allow any plants to set seed that you want to collect seed from or to self-sow into planting beds.
Keep ‘em moist. Water during the heat of summer and especially when drought lingers. Healthy plants need moisture, and healthy plants produce more flowers. Avoid splashing water onto flowers during evening or midday waterings. In the evening, moist petals can easily become a breeding ground for fungal spores. At midday, water on blooms can magnify sunlight and cook delicate petals.
Feed ‘em right. Use bloom booster fertilizer on annuals to push plants to form flower buds. Bloom booster products have a higher middle number on the label (for example, 15-30-15). Feed annuals with bloom booster every 7-10 days.
Cut ‘em back. Trim leggy annuals, like petunias, ageratum, or verbena. Cut plants back by one-third to one-half. Fertilize plants after trimming.
Clean ‘em up. Remove any dead or diseased leaves or blooms. This is especially important with geraniums or verbena, where fungal diseases settle in on one blossom or leaf and quickly spread to the whole plant.
• Water plants when drought lingers. Plants need adequate moisture to form flowers.
• Remove spent blossoms on annuals and perennials to encourage plants to form more flower buds.
• Feed flowering annuals with bloom booster fertilizer every 7-10 days.
• Trim leggy annuals by one-third to one-half.
• Remove any dead or diseased leaves or flowers on plants.