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Tips to Keep Your Annual Flowers Fresh

As we approach August, this week we are having an awesome relief from normally muggy and hot temps here in Middle Tennessee! I hear the hot and humidity is coming back soon! How are your annual flowers and containers doing? Below are a few ideas to keep your flowers happy, blooming and perky (no droopy flowers in your gardening beds!) all the way up to our first frost, usually sometime in October.

As August is practically here and it is typically our hottest month in Tennessee, the biggest thing is going to be to keep your flowers well watered (and all your plants for that matter if we aren’t getting rain regularly, which we usually do not in August!). This includes your hanging baskets and container pots.

  • Hanging baskets ought to be watered every day during August, or at least every other day, to ensure they do not dry out in this heat and last you for another couple months. Hanging baskets with coco liners are gorgeous but they can sometimes dry out kind of fast if not watered about every day. Use your judgment

  • Container pots, especially shallow ones, ought to be checked daily or every other day to see if they need watering. Push your finger into the dirt one or two inches deep- if it is dry, water (be careful not to over-water).

  • Annual flowers established in the ground may be able to not be watered but every few days.

  • When watering, and this includes any plants or trees, water thoroughly and deeply. It is important to water deeply because it encourages the roots of the plant to grow deeper and therefore be a stronger, healthier plant. Light, surface watering, can actually be kind of a waste because the water does not soak down into the root of the plant and it often evaporates on the surface of the ground. Early morning watering is best, but early evening watering works great too!

  • Did you plant any trees this spring or summer? Water them deeply throughout August!! Their roots are getting established right now and it is important for them to continue to grow deeper! I do not have an automatic sprinkler system in my yard, so to water the new (pic below of what they look like- so sweet!) ‘Hearts of Gold’ Redbud I planted in early spring, I make a little mote (I guess you would say!) with the mulch around the base of its trunk and set the hose to it every few days (when we are not getting rain and it is so hot), usually for about 30 minutes.

Got off on a tangent talking about trees (!)- back to keeping your annuals looking their best:

Continue to pick off spent blooms; this encourages new growth. Also, if you have trailing annuals, for example, it may be time to prune them back. Trimming annuals at this time of the year can spruce them up. They may look trimmed back for a week or so, but add a bit of fertilizer after you've pruned, and they will soon be full of blooms again.

Speaking of fertilizer (!), if you have Osmocote fertilizer or something like it around, feel free to sprinkle a bit in, water, and be ready to see your flowers perk up and keep on producing!

How are your flowers doing? What tips do you have for keeping annuals looking their best as we approach August?

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