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It's getting hot outside: What can and can't be planted now

The summer heat has already created an 'extinction level' event for pansies.

DENVER — I'm running behind. The snowstorm set me back and now high temperatures make planting problematic.

The heat also has created an 'extinction level' event for pansies. Bred from wild English Johnny-jump-ups, pansies have nothing in their DNA to prepare them for extreme heat. One flower goes and the rest follow like dominos. That's why pansies should be planted in March so they can be enjoyed for three months before hot weather arrives. Compost them so they can enrich your garden beds for years to come.

Replace pansies with heat lovers such as petunias, begonias, verbena, zinnias, marigolds, sweet potato vine, coleus and many others. Expose new plants to the sun gradually or they will burn. 

The best time to plant is early evening. After watering, they have all night to hydrate before facing the heat of the day. Everything can be planted now. Just take care to water everything in well.

Get all your new container plants off to a good start by fertilizing. Continue every ten days to two weeks. I use water soluble fertilizers that are mixed in water and applied with a watering can. Yes, it's a chore but the results are worth it. 

More Proctor's Garden:

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Replace pansies with heat-loving plants like petunias.

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