Summer Favorites

Many of us are so excited to get out and start gardening in the spring that we tend to plant a lot of perennials and annuals that thrive when it’s cooler and then fade as July sets in. Here at Ashland Greenhouses we plant a summer crop of tough summer plants that bloom and thrive during our hot summer days.

For annuals you just can’t beat Calibrachoa and Verbena. They look great all summer long and well into the fall. Both prefer full sun, but the Calibrachoa will also do well in part shade. If you’ve had something like Bacopa or Lobelia stop blooming it’s usually due to “heat stall.” It isn’t anything you’ve done wrong; that plant most likely just prefers cooler temperatures. Calibrachoa and Verbena are great replacements for plants suffering from heat stall.

Perennials for mid-late summer are typically overlooked when people are choosing plants in the spring. The perennials we grow for our summer season happen to be some of my favorites primarily because they are the plants I notice in my own landscape that perform beautifully all summer long and require little to no maintenance: Russian Sage, Coreopsis, Erysimum, Salvia greggii, Agastache, and Japanese Anemones. We also have some great new Sedums, Euphorbias and more.

I continue to encourage customers to add mulch to their beds. It really makes a difference in not only keeping the weeds down, but more importantly to help hold in the moisture. There are many different kinds to choose from and the decision can be overwhelming. I prefer either a mulch which contains both aged bark and manure, or just aged bark mulch. The bark mulch doesn’t add the nutrients to your soil like the mulch mixture of bark and manure however it will last longer than a year. Anything is better than nothing and by adding mulch you’re doing something good for your soil, plants, and water conservation.