Proctor: Approach the second half of summer excited

KUSA - We're only halfway through summer. Take advantage of recent rains and moderate temperatures to keep your plants in prime shape.

Deadheading perennials will keep your borders looking great. You may notice some plants blooming ahead of schedule or out of their normal season. My fall bloomers, such as tall lance- leaf rudbeckia, asters, butterfly bush and 'Autumn Joy' sedum, don't want to wait for fall. Viewers have also told us of spring plants, such as iris and lilacs, blooming again. Just enjoy their out-of-season enthusiasm.

In your shady areas, it's not too late to bring dusty indoor houseplants outside for the rest of summer. They'll benefit from the longer days and brighter light, but bring them out only into shade or the leaves will burn badly. If your shady outdoor living room is dull, add potted begonias, Oriental lilies, blood leaf, coleus and oxalis, all of which can be saved over the winter.

All houseplants - indoors or vacationing outside - will respond to regular fertilization. This is their prime growing period when the days are long and light the brightest. I apply Age Old Organic's "Grow" formula fertilizer to all my houseplants.

This is also the best time to feed and cut back straggly container plants. Petunias, in particular, tend to get leggy and bloom less. Cut them back by half or more and give them a good shot of "Grow." This will promote healthy, bushy new growth and more flowers in a few weeks.

I'm pruning back the floppy growth on potted plants of 'Angelina' sedum. This great succulent features chartreuse foliage that turns orange in winter. I leave these tough plants outside all winter--in their pots--and they have thrived in this manner for over ten years. A haircut a few times a season keeps them looking great. The cuttings are easily rooted--just press them into the soil--to be used in pots or in beds.

Approach your summer garden tasks with enthusiasm to keep your garden healthy and beautiful.

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)


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