Summer and Fall Shrub Care

Summer and Fall Shrub Care
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During the summer, when things are heating up, we mainly stay concerned about our plants in the garden, but shrubs also need care. If you receive less than an inch of rain in a two week period and the temperatures have passed 85 degrees, then they probably need a drink. It's better to water deeply, which will encourage roots to grow deep. It's healthier for the shrub. Using a sprinkler you can set out a rain gauge or a tin can and water until you have 2-3 inches of water collected.
In early fall shrubs also need care, so keep this in mind. Rake leaves and debris from under the shrubs, cut back watering to about an inch a week and fertilize once the leaves have dropped. After the hottest part of summer has passed, you can transplant any shrubs you need to move. Pruning varies with the type of shrub, but early spring is a good time unless the shrub flowers, then it's best to wait until after it blooms. Pruning tends to bring on new growth, and if you prune into the late summer or fall, the growth could be damaged by frost. If you do need to prune during the summer do it before the first week in August.

Potentillas are a very popular shrub because they thrive in any soil, can tolerate very hot, dry sunny location or some shade. Some have been known to survive floods and droughts as well! Our new property has several potentillas that were never cared for and they are a sorry site. They generally need a pruning each autumn for shaping and to remove dead or wild branches. I did find out that they can be cut to 12 inches above the soil if they are especially rough looking and older.


About The Author

Brenda Hyde is a freelance writer living on ten acres in rural Michigan with her husband and three kids. She is a mom, grandma, gardener, cook and writer. She blogs on all of these topics at


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