Many of us have at least a few flowers dressing up our front or back porch, and now that it is midsummer, all of the hard work we put into planting our pots is really paying off. It is important to keep that momentum going and keep our plants in top shape by following a few simple rules.

First, keep up with a good watering schedule. At this point in the season, potted plants have filled the pots with roots, so they may need more water than earlier in the season. Make sure to check the moisture level of your pots often and water as needed. Don’t forget to check your pots even after it rains. Sometimes the rain is blocked by a house or porch or the rain may run off the foliage which prevents the water from reaching the soil.

Next, fertilize often. The plants have used up many of the nutrients in the soil by this point in the season. Keep them healthy and blooming by fertilizing every 7-10 days. Flowering plants should receive a bloom boosting formula and foliage plants should receive a grow or general purpose formula.

Don't forget deadheading. Deadheading, or removing dead/spent flowers, is another important part of plant upkeep. It prevents the plants from putting their energy into producing seeds and they will put their energy into producing more blooms instead. When removing the spent flower, cut it down to the first set of leaves below the flower. If you just trim off the flower, you will end up with a bunch of naked sticks sticking up all over your plant.

Finally, if some of your taller plants have started to slump, or fall over, use a plant stake to keep them upright and stable.

There are still a few good months left for your summer plants to show off. Whether you have two pots or 600, now is not the time to slack off! Keep up with a healthy plant regimen and you can continue to enjoy your potted plants well into fall.

We would like to thank everyone who came out to the Proctor's Garden Tour last weekend. The garden was spectacular, the crowd was delightful, and the tour raised over $20,000 for the Dumb Friends League! If you made it out to the tour, you saw Rob's 600+ pots overflowing with colorful plants.