Even the best flower gardeners can be procrastinators.
But by focusing less on when you plant than on how, you can still add flowers this summer that will produce color and joy all through late summer and fall.
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“Just about anything can be planted all summer so long as gardeners can be attentive to watering,” says Mira Talabac, a horticultural consultant with the Home & Garden Information Center of University of Maryland Extension. “I was taught during my lengthy time in the nursery industry that the ‘best time’ to plant is whenever you’re ready to do it properly.”
At Heritage Museum & Gardens, a botanical garden and historical museum in Sandwich, Massachusetts, gardeners plant new gardens throughout the summer, says Les Lutz, director of horticulture. And Diane St. John, garden center manager for Natureworks, an organic landscape and garden center in Northford, Connecticut, says their staff plant flowers for customers well into the fall.
What you can plant will depend on your climate and planting zone, so it’s best to check with your county extension service or local garden center. But in many areas, July is not too late to expand your garden or fill in gaps with either annuals, which only live for one growing season, or perennials, which are winter hardy and can live many years.
“We plant at least through October,” St. John says. “And if we have a warm November, our crews will continue to plant because then the roots have time to get established. And then in the spring, it’s like you’ve already got an established plant."
Planting in midsummer does require some general principles: