The weather has been good so far as gardening is concerned.  From May 1 to June 30, I measured 11 3/4 inches of rain in my gauge.  Hopefully we will get more in the coming weeks.  

August is the time to trim back certain plants to keep them in bounds or to promote fall flowers.   Roses that are of the repeat variety, meaning they bloom throughout the season, can be trimmed back by about one-third. This causes them to bush out with new growth and more fall blooms.  Most evergreen shrubs can be trimmed moderately to prevent overcrowding.  If your nandina have grown too tall, thin them back by cutting about one-fourth of the tallest canes back to about six inches from the ground.  New growth will sprout at the point they were cut.  Repeat this process about every six months to prevent bare stems at the lower level.  

Read more: Out in the Garden: August 2014

Consistently warmer temperatures are taking over from the rollercoaster, warm, cold, hot weather we have had this spring. Lawns are growing, and now is a good time to fertilize if it has been more than 3 months since the last time. Use a good organic fertilizer, and remember you do not have to water it in right away if time does not permit.  If you have flower pots and hanging baskets, keep some of the fertilizer back and use it as a liquid to water them.  About every 2 weeks put about a cup of fertilizer in a 2 gallon water can and let it sit a few minutes to start dissolving, then water.  You should be able to do this a couple more times before the fertilizer is used.  

Read more: Out in the Garden: June 2014

We are now into the New Year and by the time this reaches your mailbox we will be only weeks away from the next growing season. Early March is the typical last frost so Valentine’s Day is the earliest best time to trim plants. Bush roses can be cut back by about half but do not trim climbing roses until they have bloomed. Climbers bloom on last year’s wood and trimming them earlier eliminates their spring flowers. Bridal wreaths, mountain laurels, flowering quince and most early blooming plants fall into the same category.

Read more: Out in the Garden: February 2014