Monday, August 02, 2010

The Last Dance

Can you believe it will be the last time to do certain activities in the garden?  Evergreens should have been trimmed before the end of July because they put out new growth that can be nipped with the first frost.  Frost, what does that mean?  The average first frost for Illinois is the third week of October.

I still have some boxwoods that I am going to take a chance and trim this week because if this weather keeps up we won't have frost until January!  Do not feed any evergreens or shrubs in August in zone 5 or colder - stimulating growth can cause dieback when it turns colder.

Some pretty things to look at as we talk about the end of summer annuals.  This is an unnamed coleus and feathery sweet potato vine.  I wish I had planted this in one of my containers but this was designed for my daughter-in-law for two carefree metal urns by the back door.  They have done great all summer.

My daughter-in-law's front planters are very large 24" cast iron on pedestals, so if your remember the spring plantings, there were lots of plants!

I will feed my roses for the last time within the first two weeks of August.  My Rainbow Knockouts usually bloom until early November.  I do trim all of my roses lightly just to neaten them up, never having a problem with late fall growth.

Annuals still need to be fed every two weeks with a high bloom formula until they succumb to the frost - impatiens, coleus, sweet potato vine, fuchsias and all types of begonias will be the first to go with zinnia, marigolds and dahlias to follow.  Petunias, allysum and geraniums are the last to give up the ghost as they can take some cool temperatures. 

This is Red Velvet Coleus and Yellow Saffron Suberbells and they have not succumbed to our constant heat this summer.

This is Gay's Delight Coleus and it will not hold up to a frost, but in the meantime a great color in the garden.
I will need to bring my tropicals in when the nights begin to drop into the 40's.  I can't believe I am actually saying that temperature.

The red grasses will take over for fall, petunias will hold up to a light frost, sweet potato and coleus will not take a frost, but we will insert some cabbages and decorative pumpkins.

We can make this work into the next season!