Week 15 – Summer Garden Maintenance

Well, it’s still hot.  Seems like we live in Arizona with weather over 100 degrees several days in a row.  Your garden can still look good even in this heat.   This week we continued to keep the garden in tip top shape even though it’s scorching out there.  We especially liked the home made ice cream provided by David.  Now, that’s some incentive and a great way to beat the heat!!  Unfortunately we were pre-empted again by a manhunt in Castle Rock so Rob went down to the station for his segment.  Hopefully we will be on air again next week.  We haven’t been on since before the June 10th segment.  Not sure, but I think our next segment will be replacing cool weather plants with hot weather plants in our containers.

Protect your efforts from spring planting with:



Perennials and veggie gardens –   The trick is to drench and soak your beds a couple of times a week.  It depends on what type of plant on whether you need to water some of them daily but for all perennials soak your garden deeply at least twice a week to help your plants beat the heat. A veggie garden needs watering every day.  Deep soak your vegetables so they don’t struggle to grow in the heat. Other plants can go a couple of days without water.   Water in the evening when it’s cool and the plants have time to soak up the water and not just evaporate in the heat.

Container gardens and pots –  Give your pots  a good soaking every morning when it’s still cool.  Water until the water starts leaking out of the bottom of the pot.  If you can’t get out early enough when it’s still cool then water your containers and pots along with your perennials at night.  Remember, DRENCH and SOAK.  A little water is not enough to keep your plants going, especially in this heat.  Pots that are not soaked will dry out during the heat of the day and you can lose plants quickly.



Perennials – Perennials don’t need much fertilization.  If you really want to fertilize throw some Osmocote around in your perennials beds.   I fertilize my tomatoes with an organic bloom product once a week.  I like organic products because what you feed them end up in your body.  It depends on what you’re growing on how you fertilize your veggies.  Good question.  Maybe that will be my question next week to Rob.  How does he fertilize his vegetable garden?

Containers and Pots – Fertilize your containers and pots with a bloom product high in phosphorus once every 5 to 7 days.  Without fertilizing, your plants will start to look straggly and the heat will zap them.  Plants need to eat too.  Feeding your plants helps them to stand up and produce more beautiful blooms.  I like Old Age Organic Bloom and I use Fox Farm Organic Bloom on the things I’m going to eat.  I have a bee hive so I like to use organics because I don’t want to harm the bees and also because what we use to fertilize ends up in the plant and could also end up in us.


A daunting and time consuming task sometimes.  Go out in the cool of the morning or evening of course.  I think of deadheading as being therapeutic.  It gives you time to enjoy your plants and see what’s going on with them.  Deadheading is critical to keeping your plants from looking straggly and helps them to produce more beautiful blooms by keeping them from going to seed.  When they go to seed it sucks energy from the plant that could be used to produce blooms.

Perennials – There is not much need to deadhead perennials.  Some only bloom once and are done and then need the energy from the green to feed the plant for next year.  If plants are ever bloomers like roses, then I do deadhead the dried up rose so it can produce more.  If there are other perennials that may bloom again then go ahead and deadhead, otherwise just leave it alone.  Don’t forget if you have some annuals in your perennial bed to deadhead them.  If you let them go to seed they will stop blooming, and you planted them there for color so keep them in shape to keep blooming.

Containers and pots – These constantly need to be deadheaded.   I love geraniums because you can just snap off the stem where the dead bloom is down at the joint where it started.  Easy.  Other plants need some scissors to cut off the stem down close to the joint.  Petunias and things like that aren’t my favorite because they feel sticky but don’t just pull out the flower, make sure you pinch or cut underneath the little part where the bloom came out because that is the seed.  If you don’t cut that part off then the plant will try to go to seed and take energy away from the blooms. It will also get straggly and long and not stand up very prettily.   In general you can snip off the bloom down where it comes out of the stalk if it’s on a long stem.  No need to have a bunch of empty stems sticking out above your pot with nothing on them.

So remember to keep your spring efforts beautiful through the hot summer, WATER, FEED and DEADHEAD.

Rob’s garden still looks just as amazing as it did on the June 10th tour.  Amazing in this heat.


So far, so fun!!

To see Rob’s video segment for this week go to:  www.proctorsgarden.com


About pbodwell

Master Gardener; Nat'l Award Winning Photographer; Garden Writer; Artist - art books, print maker, hot glass, wire jewelry designer; sometime quilter; new homesteader; bee keeper; very crafty; Baseball fan, enthusiast, and researcher; all things vintage
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