Do It Now
Perennials: Plants growing in shade may need water in spite of rain showers. Trees act as umbrellas, keeping the moisture from reaching the plants under them. Check the soil to make sure it has not dried out. Continue cutting back early-blooming perennials so that they will bloom again.
Flowers: If pansiesâ€™ blooming has slowed, shear them and give them a drink of liquid fertilizer. They will bloom again when the weather cools.
Geraniums and fuchsias should be well fed. Fill in bare spots in the garden with annuals, which can be purchased at a bargain at this time of year.
Edible flowers taste best when picked and eaten the same day. Harvest these flowers in the morning, after the dew has dried or right before sundown. Add them to the dish just before serving.
Vegetables and fruits: Three rules for tomato plant care: get plants off the ground, give plants plenty of room and never prune or tie plants when leaves are wet. Pinch off suckers. Keep the plants moist and mulched.
Apply Bt (bacillus thruringiensis) to cabbages for cabbage looper and to broccoli for worms. Bt is a bacteria that poisons the worms as they eat the leaves. Pull up bitter lettuce and plant heat-resistant varieties.
Trees and shrubs: Newly planted shrubs and trees should get a deep watering to help get their roots established. Continue pruning spring-blooming flowering shrubs.
Lawns: Moss in the lawn may indicate insufficient sunlight, poor fertility, low soil pH or poor drainage.
Houseplants: Continue to repot houseplants as needed.
General: If weeding and chores are done, take a well deserved holiday break and wave the flag for America.
â€” Susan Henry