If you are like many avid gardeners, the heat wave of the past few weeks has had you more than a bit concerned about your flower and plant gardens. Before you break out into your own version of a rain dance, there are some steps you can take to ensure your plants stand up to the stress of the dog days of summer.
“People put a lot of effort into their plants and gardens in the spring and early summer and it’s a shame when a hot spell jeopardizes all that work,” said George Chapman, master grower at Concord Nurseries in Rochester and Concord, MA. “Obviously, you need to water your plants, but how much is too much? Can you overdo it?”
For annuals and perennials, Chapman recommends:
• Regular watering - Water hanging plants and plants in containers on a daily basis. For in-ground plants, deep water those plants twice a week.
• Use liquid feed fertilizer - Time release fertilizer is a good practice in spring and early summer, but at this late date you should only be feeding with a liquid fertilizer. Any general purpose plant food will do. In the heat of summer, it is a good practice to cut the recommended dosage in half, and feed twice as often.
• Deadhead - Remove past blooms by pinching or cutting off the old flowers at the base of the stem. Even the "self cleaning" varieties will benefit from a little deadheading. Most plants have a higher than usual amount of past bloom this year because of the intense heat.
“Sadly, the heat can sometimes be too much for some plants. That doesn’t mean you have to wait until next year,” said Chapman. “There are a number of annuals and perennials that can be planted in midsummer and give your garden plenty of wow factor. Hardy Hibiscus is one in particular that can really make the colors in your garden pop.”
Concord Nurseries offers a full selection of six-inch annuals ready for summer planting. In addition, they carry five varieties of the aforementioned Hardy Hibiscus, including one with variegated foliage foliage. This is a perennial loaded with dinner plate-sized flowers that last from midsummer to autumn.
To check out their inventory of summer annuals and perennials, you can visit their Rochester--22 Cranberry Highway (Route 28)—or Concord location (874 Barretts Mill Road, near the Route 2 Traffic Circle). Both farm stand’s hours are Tuesday through Thursday, 9am to 5pm, Fridays and Saturday, 9am to 6pm, and Sundays, 10am to 5pm.
For complete information on Concord Nurseries, visit www.ConcordNurseriesCSA.com.
Concord Nurseries s a local greenhouse grower of vegetables, vegetable plants flowers and ornamental plants with locations at 874 Barretts Mill Road in Concord, Massachusetts and 22 Cranberry Highway (Route 28) in Rochester, Massachusetts. Concord Nurseries offers a retail farm stand at both locations for consumers, as well as a wholesale division for commercial businesses.
The farm stand’s spring hours are Tuesday through Thursday, 9am to 5pm, Fridays and Saturday, 9am to 6pm, and Sundays, 10am to 5pm.
For additional information, including sales and event info, please visit www.concordnurseriescsa.com or visit the Facebook pages for each location, www.Facebook.com/