The July 4th holiday is about a gardening midpoint in this four-season region. By now, pop up greenhouses have few early season orphans left and landscape design magazine grade blooms and veggies are primarily found in nurseries that grow plants. Many gardening options are still available to start or continue gardening this season.
Perennial delphiniums bloom now in a wind and deer protected flowerbed and are paired with smoke bush leaves for display indoors. Planting them for next year’s bloom requires delayed enjoyment and foliage instead of flowers now. Imagining how they might look next season is some creative consolation.
It’s a great moment to plant seeds of flowers and vegetables that will mature before the first frost in October. Zinnias and beans are examples. Garden seed catalogs suggest planting seeds in succession to have maturing produce or flowers later in the season. Starting these seeds in the garden now will likely yield results.
While some gardens have bearing bean plants now, these will likely begin production in a couple of weeks. New seeds planted now will extend the fresh season.
For gaps in the flowerbed, one solution is to re-locate perennials that are crowded elsewhere to the new site. Dismayed to find no white annual flower seed packets at the market, I recalled an area in the yard where native penstemon had re-seeded. In fact, I had been removing the out-of-place plants and throwing them away! The new transplants will fit well as a taller plant in the back of the bed. The deer-resistant perennial penstemon will likely not bloom this season but the leaves will fill the gap. In coming years, “shopping in one’s own backyard” may result in repeating plants around the yard.
Perennial clematis is in bloom now. Checking plants for pests, or their holes in leaves, or wildlife feasting is a good idea. Two weekly presentations give alternatives for pest controls. Backyard Farmer is a Nebraska Public TV or online show with Nebraska Extension Educators. South Dakota State University Extension offers a free weekly online show with SD professionals that address timely plant topics. Check their websites for more information.
Daylilies are in bloom. These perennials show their blooms and arching leaves well in a weeded flowerbed. Midseason is a great time to get ahead of weeds before dry summer heat makes weeding more difficult. These daylilies were planted two seasons ago. In a few more seasons, dividing the plants will encourage continuing performance.
What are activities you enjoy in your garden in midseason?
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Well, the activities that we enjoy in the garden midseason might be similar to what people in your region will enjoy a bit later. There was more activity here earlier, but by now things are already starting to slow down. That is just how our chaparral climate is.