Summertime is the Right Time to Keep Planting

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Container Gardens

Summertime Plantings

Some people may feel that if they missed the spring planting season, it’s now too late to start gardening. But this couldn’t be further from the truth! There are many flowers and even vegetables that you can plant now and still enjoy for this growing season. Midsummer is also when you will find sales at your local nurseries and garden centers, so take advantage of great discounts as well as expert advice from local garden centers.

Spruce Up Container Gardens

It’s not too late to start designing a beautiful container of flowers for your deck, patio, or front entryway. If you’ve already planted your containers, these flowers may need to be freshened up or rotated out as the seasons change. If you’re looking for container designing ideas, check out these articles for Shade Loving Container Plants as well as Heat Loving Container Garden Plants.

Hostas for Shade Garden

Start a Shade Garden

Sometimes we overlook the shady area of a yard, thinking that it it’s not a good place for planting. However, there are many plants that actually thrive in the shade.  Estabrook’s  Planting a Shade Garden explains there are different types of shade ranging from light, partial and dappled to heavy and dense. You will also find tips for amending soil and choosing plants.

Plant Perennials, Shrubs and Trees

Planting perennials, shrubs and trees in the second half of the growing season is another great gardening strategy. As the days shorten and the sun gets less intense, your new plantings will require less water. To give them a head start in rooting before the cold weather hits, be sure to use a product designed to encourage root growth. Our sponsors at Espoma offer Bio-tone Starter Plus. Helpful planting instructions for trees and shrubs can be found in this article by Allen, Sterling, & Lothrop.

Grow Vegetables for Fall Harvest

If you missed putting in your veggies, don’t fret, we have a resource for midseason growing: Planting Vegetables in Midsummer for Fall Harvest. Even if you’ve got a healthy veggie garden growing, you can always replace crops that have already been harvested. UMaine Cooperative Extension has a great FAQ sheet for tips on Preserving the Harvest. So don’t delay, get out there and plant something nutritious!

4 thoughts on “Summertime is the Right Time to Keep Planting

  1. Can you recommend a good fertilizer/compost for the fall for our garden? We have a large (for us) garden about 50×70 and it’s the 3rd year we’ve used it. We compost at the planting site with our own compost, but know it needs more nutrients as it’s slow growing. How do we go about getting a soil test to know what our garden needs this fall?

    1. Hi Kim, First you would do a soil test to know what your soil needs. This can be picked up at Estabrook’s or thru the extension office. The test will give us the info we need to know if it is compost or nutrients to make the soil optimum for what ever crop you would like to grow.

  2. Wonderful article! This is a very inspiring article for me. I would love to read more blogs on landscaping that sounds very useful and interesting.

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Lemon Queen Sunflowers - Helianthus annuus

Annual

 

Short Description

Beautiful butter yellow flowers blossom mid-summer to frost! Typically grow to more than 5 ft. tall. Expect 70 days to flower.

Growing Guidelines

  1. Around the last frost date, sow seeds directly into the soil.
  2. Plant seeds 1" deep and 6" apart.
  3. Water well after planting.
  4. Apply a 3"-4" layer of mulch to conserve water and keep down weeds.
  5. Thin seedlings to 1 ft. apart to allow 2 to 3 ft. between plants.

Care and Feeding
Plant in full sun. Sunflowers are drought-resistant, but they'll grow better if you water regularly from the time the flowers begin to develop until they're mature. Thriving in most soils, these flowers will become massive if given ample fertility, space and water. Harvest blossoms for continued flowering.

Need more information or gardening supplies? Contact your local independent garden center.

Calendula Mix-Calendula officinalis

 

Short Description

Fruition has hand-selected this variety to have a brilliant diversity of colors with dozens of gorgeous, petals on each blossom.

Growing Guidelines

Direct sow (recommended)

  1. After the last frost, sow directly outside in the garden.
  2. Plant seed 24 to 36 inches apart in all directions.

Transplant method

  1. A cool-season plant, calendula can be started indoors in flats, under grow lights 6-8 weeks before the last frost for early season flowering.
  2. Seeds germinate in 5-15 days.

Care and Feeding
Plant in full sun to partial shade. Easy to grow and remarkably drought tolerant, calendula also thrives in containers and will readily naturalize when let go to seed.

Transplanting Tips

  1. Purchase a good seed starting soil like Espoma Organic seed starting mix or Coast of Maine.
  2. Use a small greenhouse tray(tray with a clear plastic dome) to germinate your seeds.
  3. When it's time to transplant into the garden, use a fertilizer like Espoma Flower-tone or Espoma Plant-tone.

Need more information or gardening supplies? Contact your local independent garden center.

Purple Queen Anne's Lace

"Dara" Daucus carota

 

Short Description

Gorgeously laced 3-5" umbels in shades of burgundy, lilac, mauve & white on long, strong stems perfect for cutting, adored by pollinators. Related to our native carrot, Queen Anne's Lace.

Growing Guidelines

Direct sow (recommended)

  1. In early spring, after late frost, sow seeds directly in soil.
  2. Plant 1 seed 1/8" deep and 2" apart.
  3. Expect 2 weeks for germination.
  4. When seedlings are 2-3" tall, thin to 1 plant every 9-12".
  5. Support may be needed if fertility is high or if your garden is windy.

Transplant method

  1. Chill seed at 40 F 1-2 weeks prior to sowing 1/8" deep, 2 seeds per cell 4-5 weeks before planting out.
  2. Expect germination in 1-2 weeks.
  3. When first leaves appear, transplant into larger containers.
  4. Harden off & transplant with 9-12" between plants after last frost.

Care and Feeding
Plant in full sun. Expect 65-75 days to maturity. Dara has an exceptionally long vase life; harvest when 80% of an umbel's flowers are open & no pollen has shed. Enjoy 7-15 heads per plant on swaying 35-50" stalks.

Transplanting Tips

  1. Purchase a good seed starting soil like Espoma Organic seed starting mix or Coast of Maine.
  2. Use a small greenhouse tray(tray with a clear plastic dome) to germinate your seeds.
  3. When it's time to transplant into the garden, use a fertilizer like Espoma Flower-tone or Espoma Plant-tone.
Need more information or gardening supplies? Contact your local independent garden center.

Marigolds

Annual

Care and Feeding

Transplant Only: Sow 4 weeks before last frost shallowly, 2 seeds per cell and thin to 1, keeping soil surface moist until emergence. Transplant to larger containers when true leaves appear. Harden off and transplant outside when the danger of frost has passed with 12" between plants. Deadhead for blossoms all season.

  • Sowing Date: Indoors before last frost
  • Seed Depth: 1/4 inch
  • Days to Germination: 4-7 days at 75-80°F
  • Days to Maturity: 60
  • Plant spacing after thinning: 12 inches
  • Height: 12 inches

Need more information or gardening supplies? Contact your local independent garden center.

Organic Mexican Sunflower (Torch Tithonia)

Annual

Care and Feeding
Direct Seed (recommended): After final frost, sow every 8" and thin to one every ~2'. Light required to germ, so barely cover seed. Full sun is best. Any (even poor) soil is suitable. Harvest flowers when 90% open for bouquets.

Transplant: Sow indoors 2-3 weeks before last frost, transplanting after frost with spacing below.
 
  • Sowing Date: After frost; Late May- early June
  • Seed Depth: 1/2 inch
  • Days to Germination: 7-14 days
  • Days to Maturity: 85
  • Plant spacing after thinning: 2 feet
  • Height: 5-7 feet

Need more information or gardening supplies? Contact your local independent garden center.

Cosmos

Annual

Care and Feeding

Direct Seed (recommended): After last frost, shallowly sow 4 seeds/foot & thin to 1/foot when first true leaves appear. Wider spacing = thicker stronger stems.

Bouquets: harvest when petals first open. Deadhead for blooms all season.

Transplant: Shallowly sow 4 weeks before transplanting after last frost at below spacing. Transplant your cosmos for earlier blooms and more full-size plants per pack; direct sow for blooms throughout the season and simplicity of sowing.

  • Sowing Date: After frost, late May to early June 
  • Seed Depth: 1/4 inch
  • Days to Germination: 7-10
  • Days to Maturity: 65-70
  • Plant spacing after thinning: 18-24 inches
  • Height: 3-4 feet

Need more information or gardening supplies? Contact your local independent garden center.