5 tips to prepping your perennials for the fall

August 15, 2014

Those flourishing flowers from the spring and early summer are starting to lose a little luster. While there was once vivid color and lush plant life, your garden may have grown some dead spots and a few flowers may have wilted. Don't give up on your flower bed yet! There are a couple of late-summer tricks you can use to revitalize your plants for the coming fall and prepare them for the last weeks of summer.

Scan, replant and water well
At this point in the summer, your flower bed may have some blank spots here and there. Now is a perfect time to head over to your local flower shop and find some flowers that bloom in the late summer and fall, according to Reilly's Summer Seat Farm & Garden Center. Planting at this time takes a little extra effort. You'll need to water frequently and generously to establish new plants and keep them thriving through the last hot summer days. 

Tend to the wilting plants and browning perennials
If some of your flowers have faded over the course of the summer, now is a good time to clip them back and give them some water and fertilizer. Some plants respond very well to this treatment and may bloom once more before the summer heat fades. Otherwise, they'll be back again next spring.

Fertilize the late bloomers once more
According to Cornell University, late flowering plants should be fertilized one last time in the late summer, but don't add too much fertilizer. The institution recommends less than 5 pounds for a 100-square-foot area. Remember to keep fertilizer off of the plants to prevent burning, and use organic fertilizers to reduce burning in general.

Get rid of the weeds
Over those weeks after tending to the flower bed in the spring, weeds may have crept into the area. It may be tedious, but now is the time you'll want to get those weeds away from you perennials, according to the University of Illinois. Weeds may cause your flower bed to look more weary in the late weeks of summer, and digging out these plant pests can make your garden look better in no time. Plus, the perennials will do well without the added competition.

Add more mulch if necessary
In the summer heat and with little rainfall, it's important to make sure the plants stay hydrated, and mulch can help conserve water. It also keeps root systems cooler during that boiling late summer weather. Make sure there's still a layer of mulch under your plants. If it's under 2 inches deep, you may want to add some more.

The information in these articles is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty or maintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage.