Recommendations to keep your plants healthy in the summer

In these lazy hazy days of the hot summer you may ask yourself, “What should I do to keep my plants looking good and happy through the summer?”

Here are a few simple tips:

• Take the time every eight to 10 days to examine your plants looking for scratching and discoloring of leaves and needles. Also checking the inside of your plants — especially when they are dense, as some insects are microscopic in size.

If you do find a problem, take care of it immediately to reduce additional damage. If you can’t diagnose the problem, check with your local garden center or nursery, and they can recommend a product to use and how to properly apply the product. Remember when spraying with insecticides and fungicides, if the temperature is higher than 85 degrees, spray in the morning or evening, when temperatures are cooler.

• Plants that bloom profusely exhaust the soil very quickly of nutrients and will require fertilizer more often than other plants. Your local garden center can recommend the proper fertilizer for all plant selections.

• To prune or not to prune, that is the question. A lot of trees, evergreens and flowering shrubs will set their buds for the next year in mid- to late summer, so you have to be careful of when you prune.

• Most important during these hot days would be proper watering of your plants. Please do not sprinkle them with water — soak the plant by letting a hose trickle at the base of the plant. A good deep soaking and letting the plant dry between each watering is key. Especially during July and August, when the temperature is at its peak, we need to be aware of what our plants require for proper health.

Follow these simple and important tips, and you will truly enjoy your plants all summer long.