Perennials: Meticulous rose care includes deadheading repeat bloomers and fertilizing your roses with a complete rose food spread around the base of each plant according to label directions. When deadheading, clip dead blooms back to a healthy shoot or an outward-facing bud. Clean up pruned twigs and leaves immediately, especially if they show signs of disease. Pick up debris and toss in the trash, not the compost pile.
Flowers: Shear back overgrown plants to encourage new blossoms. Fertilize every other week. The excess rain will wash out the fertilizer.
Vegetables and fruits: Tomato blight is rampant as the wet weather continues. Remove diseased leaves unless the plants are too far gone, then the whole plant should be discarded in the trash, not the compost. Spores can survive the winter. Tomatoes should not be planted in the same area next year or where potatoes were grown. Dry fully grown herbs. Regular harvesting encourages bushy growth and helps prolong the plant’s life by keep it from flowering and going to seed.
Trees and shrubs: Prune vines such as wisteria and climbing hydrangea, taking off shoots that bear faded blossoms and cutting back nonblooming stems just above the start of new growth. Last call to prune birches, cherries, lindens and walnuts now that new growth is fully developed. Give the yew hedge its annual pruning. Create beds around trees and shrubs to protect them from lawn mower damage. Keep the beds mulched until fall, then plant them with flowering bulbs and perennial groundcovers.
Lawns: Watch for disease caused by excess moisture. Make sure the automatic sprinkler is off.
Houseplants: Pinch plants so that they will be well branched when brought indoors.
General: Try one or two of the new deer repellents. Keep a record of their effectiveness. Deer management is described well at the Web site of the Institute for Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook:www.ecostudies.org. Or concoct your own mix from recipes on the web. Homemade concoctions may have limited effectiveness but are certainly less expensive.