Patience yields late summer garden results

Patience has paid off in a season where many plants got off to a slow start.

KUSA - In the space of a few weeks, it's gone from, "Gee, I wish those tomatoes would hurry up," to "What am I going to do with all these tomatoes?"

Patience has paid off in a season where many plants got off to a slow start.

Your containers should be just overflowing with foliage and flowers. If they're not, you planted the wrong things. It's really important to keep them thoroughly watered since the pots are filled with thirsty root balls. Now is when we really appreciate the tropical foliage of sweet potato vine, spike dracaenas, coleus and plectranthus.

No tropical annual provides more color than 'Whopper' begonias. From their tiny beginning in a four-pack, they've come on strong throughout summer. If you take them inside before frost, they'll bloom all winter. Few other plants can claim to bloom 24/7/365.

Morning glories are the delight of early-risers. Each flower lasts just a day but once they get going the show is spectacular. It's remarkable considering the vines were barely a foot tall by the Fourth of July.

The moon flower--Datura--also puts on a show for very early risers. It opens at night to attract moths that pollinate its flowers--which also last just one day--and close in the morning. The lovely pearly white flowers also carry a soft sweet scent.

One of the most spectacular tropical flowers is angel trumpet, properly called Brugsmansia, I grow them in large pots. These small trees, native to South America, bloom periodically throughout the year, even in winter when they're inside in a sunny window. The trumpet-shaped flowers are about six inches long and the scent--as one would expect from a plant called angel trumpet--is heavenly, especially at night. These night blooming beauties also rely on night moths to pollinate them.

A garden is all about pollination. The purpose of a plant is to reproduce. That's why we deadhead: to prevent them from setting seed. The annuals such as calendulas, marigolds and zinnias will continue to produce flowers through the fall. Eventually we'll let them go to seed so their offspring will sprout in the garden next year. 

Keep your plants well-watered and dead-headed to keep them beautiful throughout the rest of the season. And pull out all your favorite recipes that call for tomatoes. 

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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