Late-Summer Planting

August 19, 2012 (CHICAGO)

But summer isn't over yet, and there's still time to enjoy your garden. Benjamin Carroll, Senior Horticulturist at the Chicago Botanic Garden (www.chicagobotanic.org/), joined us live from the Garden during our ABC7 news Sunday Morning to give us tips on late-summer gardening and planting.

1. Japanese Beetles are on the decline
- start to notice less damage in your gardens
- tidy up plants that the beetles have already attacked by removing leaves and flowers that look bad

2. Keep on watering (unless there is a watering ban in your area), especially during dry periods.
- your garden requires at least 1" of rain/ week
- when using a sprinkler, place a tuna can out to measure how much water you are providing

3. Apply mulch to the soil surface at least 1"- 2" thick
- Keeps the soil moist longer

4. Check your containers for watering
- The foliage of plants in containers can act as an umbrella

5. Continue feeding containers, window boxes and baskets, but provide a diluted solution of food every time you water
- highly-concentrated food solutions can burn the roots of plants; that can result in a sick plant
- lighter food applied more consistently will help prevent this and help your plants thrive

6. Keep deadheading annual flowers to promote an extended season of bloom
- remove pollinated flowers to encourage new flowers to develop

7. Stake taller plant that may be flopping
- high winds and quick heavy downpours can make taller stems flop
- add support lower on the plant to help them stand proud without looking strangled

8. Cut back plants like Catmint (Nepeta)
- give them a fresh new look
- may promote one more flush of blooms

9. Sew late season vegetables that will look great until it is time for you to harvest them
- plants like lettuce, spinach, beets, radish and beans will produce something for your table even into autumn
- some vegetable seeds need cooler temperatures to germinate, so make sure they are planted a little deeper than normal
- keep the soil moist and shaded until germination occurs
- start seeds in pots in your air-conditioned house, and then transplant them to the garden later

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