Flowers All Summer! Your Feeding & Care Guide
It’s easy to fall in love with flowers in the Spring! We’re naturally drawn to the colour and fragrance they provide, and it feels great to adorn our homes and gardens with their cheerful blooms. Keeping our flowers healthy, growing, and blooming from Spring to frost is the goal, and it takes a bit of practice and proper care to get it just right. In our guide, we’ve broken down what to do, when to do it, and which products to use to enjoy your flowers all summer long!
May and early June:
You went to the garden centre and splurged on the gorgeous flowers you found. They’re bright and lovely after a long winter of greys and browns. You brought home baskets, a planter, tropical plants, and some other annuals you couldn’t resist and have been loving the brightness it brings! You find perfect places for your new flowers and anticipate a season of enjoying their beauty… as long as you can keep them alive.
Now is the time to find the best selection of plants for the season. Choose varieties you like that will tolerate your light conditions… sun loving plants for areas with 6+ hours of sun or afternoon sun, and shade-tolerant plants for shady, dappled-light, or morning sun areas.
Once your flowers are home, it’s time to place and plant! Choose positions for your baskets and planters, and make sure to water them thoroughly to help them adapt to their new location. Always protect new plants from extreme conditions (such as frost, or direct afternoon sun right away) so that they can ease their way into the environment.
To plant annuals in the garden:
- Amend soil with triple mix for improved texture and extra nutrition
- Use the right tools to make the job easier, like Fiskars Hori Hori Garden Tool
- Use Miracle-Gro® Quick Start® to help roots to establish faster
- For more planting tips, see our post How To Plant Anything
Things are getting real. The days are actually becoming hot, it’s been raining, and stuff is really starting to grow! Get ready for what’s ahead… now is the time to begin your routine of regular feeding, watering and general maintenance.
Watering is the most important care you’ll provide to your plants. In the early part of the season, you’ll water only as needed, when the planter or basket in question begins to dry. This is usually 2-3 times a week. Once the plants begin to fill out and the days become hot, though – prepare to water EVERY day to ensure your container and baskets get what they need. Flowers in the ground will need watering 2-3 times per week, depending on the amount of rainfall.
What about feeding? The idea of providing fertilizer to plants can seem intimidating, but it’s easier than you think! Giving blooming plants the right nutrition makes a HUGE difference in their quality and lifespan.
Get comfortable with deadheading. Most flowers benefit from a bit of tough love from time to time. As plants grow and bloom, flowers that are finished can look messy. More importantly, spent flowers signal the plant to begin focusing energy on creating seeds… which isn’t what we want! Trimming away blooms as they fade is called “deadheading” and it makes a big difference in the health of the plant, and the abundance of flowers it creates. Light trimming tools like the Fiskars Floral Pruner or Fiskars Micro-Tip Pruning Snips make these tasks easy and enjoyable.
The heat is on! Everything starts getting big, and baskets and planters will now need water every day. To water most effectively, give plants a thorough, slow soak in the morning. Morning watering prepares the plants for the heat of the day, and gives them time to dry out completely before night, which helps to prevent fungal diseases. Even with deadheading, some plants may start looking raggedy or stringy with overgrowth. These plants just want to keep growing, so shearing back some plants by half can help to encourage fresh, new foliage and flowers in the second half of the summer.
More watering means more flower food is washed away due to runoff. Remember to keep providing nutrition regularly, especially to baskets and containers.
August: refresh and enjoy the bounty
This is when all of the hard work of the season rewards you. Relax on the patio and enjoy your bountiful blooms! If any plants have failed to perform or have tired out, now is a great time to remove and replace them with something fresh. Harvest herbs and veggies often, and try gathering some flowers from your garden to enjoy up close on the table!
While you observe your plants, notice and treat pest problems as they occur. Evaluate garden spaces and think about new perennials and shrubs in unused or under-performing spaces for next year to plant this fall.