Friday, August 3, 2012

Late Summer Gardening: Revitalize your Landscape

August is the perfect time to revitalize your summer garden.  Perennials such as daylily, nepeta, astilbe and salvia can be cut back to revitalize and extend their bloom season.  Here are some easy tips to give your garden a face lift.  When your salvia and nepeta start looking less than desirable, deadhead by pinching back any spent blooms so that the next set of blooms can gain strength and form.  In late summer (end of July/Early August) cut back "worn out" perennials several inches, removing all the dead stalks and spent growth, making the appearance of the plant resemble the first growth of spring.   The plant will be fooled into sprouting new growth and new blooms will form that last well into Fall.  

When my daylilies are done blooming and foliage starts to yellow and brown, I completely revitalize them by tearing out all the old foliage and spent stalks to approximately 4-6 inches above the ground.  Within days new growth will quickly emerge forming a revitalized plant thus extending the bloom season.  For astilbe keep the spent flowers for they supply welcomed Fall interest but remove any browned foliage to give the plant a neater appearance.  Cleaning up the plant may even spark some new flowers to form.  Now it is also time to remove the seed pods and browned stalks from iris and spent flower stalks from hosta and heuchera (coral bells) to redirect the energy back into the roots and foliage.  

At this time I also clean up any hidden weeds and make sure that there is a good layer of mulch (about 2-4 inches) in the garden to keep the roots cool, ensure moisture retention,  add organic matter and of course form a weed barrier during the remaining hot days of summer.  Also plants need approximately one inch of water per week to their roots in order to survive the drought of summer.  It is healthier for the plants to water deep and less often rather than every day at short intervals.  Performing these few simple tasks will revitalize your garden, extend its lifetime and give you several more months of enjoyment out of your landscape!

For more information on garden maintenance you may also enjoy Fall Garden Maintenance: Pruning and Dividing Ornamental Grasses & Perennials

As Always....Happy Gardening!   

Author: Lee@A Guide To Northeastern Gardening, Copyright 2012. All rights reserved


  1. Great tips - this time of year certainly needs a 'tidy up'. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. Thanks for the great tips. I guess I better get out into that garden!

  3. Hi Lee
    You are so good to still be out there, revitalizing your garden! It's been such a hot and humid summer here, I just can't summon up the energy to get out there much anymore. I think I have the mid-summer garden blahs…
    But I feel some inspiration from your suggestions. Maybe tomorrow I will follow your advice.

  4. I garden in the morning or in the evening between 4 and 5 pm. It has been a pretty hot summer here as well but the mornings and evenings are cooler and more comfortable for when I am in the need of a little garden therapy! :)

  5. I've really enjoyed your blog! We are Florida natives, and have been in New Hampshire for about 4 years now - it takes some time to learn the tricks of real seasons. So, I appreciate all your wonderful guidance!

  6. I have very much enjoyed following your blog. My husband and I are Florida natives, but have been in New Hampshire for about 4 years. I have experienced quite the learning curve trying to figure out real seasons, and the do's and dont's. Your blog is wonderfully informative! Thank you.

  7. I know… I went to the nurseries in the early spring to buy bare-root roses *exclusively for bath petals. I have a pink and white rose t hat I don’t really like as a garden plant – but I grow it for the petals. I feel like Mortisha Adams cutting off roses when they grow!Gurgaon Flowers

  8. Hi nice Post written by you guys. It is amazing and wonderful to visit your site.

  9. what can be done with very robust oakleaf hygrangea that will no longer bloom? this is the 2nd season of no blooms as they expand up and sideays

    1. Hi Marjorie. My guess would be that your hydrangea is lacking phosphorus. To promote blooms try giving it some Miracle Grow Miracid. The past two winters have been hard on hydrangea. I fed mine Miracid in early spring and they are now in full bloom.


Thank you for visiting. I love reading your comments and knowing you have been here, and will try to reciprocate on your blog. If you have any questions I will try my very best to answer them. As always...HAPPY GARDENING!


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