Summertime is the best time to........

Thursday, July 14, 2011

We are definately in the midst of our summer, rainy season.  This is a great time to take care of some gardening tasks.  To avoid working in the heat of the day, work outside either very early in the morning or in the evening.  This is the time to cut back shrubs which have become leggy.  Plants such as beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) and firebush (Hamelia patens) can be cut back to promote a fuller, better looking plant.  By trimming shrubs now, the plants will have time to put on new, more compact growth before cooler temperatures arrive in the late fall.  Some of the plants I cut back at this time of the year include:  bougainvillea, lignum vitae,  salvias, brunfelsias, black mulberry, just about any shrub or vine that I feel a need to control.

Sometimes I apply some fertilizer to recently cut back plants to encourage healthy new growth.  You will be amazed at how fast shrubs respond to a hard pruning during the summer!  Just remember to cut just above a node where leaves emerge.