Perennials: Meticulous rose care includes deadheading repeat bloomers and fertilizing them 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. Excess rain will wash out the fertilizer.
Vegetables and fruits: Inspect corn tassels for earworm and treat with BT or a few drops of vegetable oil. 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. Examine tomato plants daily for signs of blight and remove discolored stems immediately.
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 hedges their 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 ground covers.
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.
Susan Henry, master gardener with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Westchester