Deadhead Flowers For More Flowers!

Deadheading flowers is a very important job to do in the garden as it helps to increase the number of blooms on your plants.

This morning dawned warm and humid. I am finding the quiet buzz of the insects and the chorus of birds to be relaxing as I prepare for the day. Breakfast with the too-many cats is peanut butter on toast with gooseberry jelly. If you have made gooseberry jelly one of the most fascinating things about it is how the pale-yellow gooseberry gives you a ruby-red jelly once it sets. Like magic.

Thimbleberries

My thimbleberries have started blooming. Thimbleberries (rubus parviflorus) are an edible native. They have a soft fruit that resembles raspberries and have many seeds. They would be fine for jellies and jams. I like to grow these berries as the flowers are beautiful and rose-like and they attract pollinators; but I leave the fruit for the birds. They are a bit prickly, so be careful.  My thimbleberries grow around my small pond where I have my pots of marsh marigolds and other bog-type plants.

A thimbleberry bush with its pink and burgundy flowers
Blooming thimbleberry bush.

Deadheading Flowers

Deadheading is a very important job to do in the garden as it helps to increase the number of blooms on your plants. The iris and peonies have been deadheaded and today I am deadheading my roses. I carefully examine the roses and look for the ones that have expired. Using sharp pruners, I clip off the dead rose. After the end of July, I stop removing the dead roses because I treasure the rosehips that develop once the blooms have finished. If you deadhead your roses, you will find that you get more roses! I feed my roses as I feed my tomatoes, but I usually stop feeding them by mid-August so that they have a chance to prepare for . My roses attract an amazing number of pollinators, and these pollinators help to increase the production in my vegetable garden.

The picture below shows my Henry Kelsey rose. He is a Canadian Explorer rose and I call him the ‘canary in the coal-mine.’ If there are any rose pests around, they all go to Henry first. I deal with them there and am then aware to watch for them on my other roses.

Deadheading my reddish pink Henry Kelsey roses
  Henry Kelsey rose

Compost

The tomatoes I am growing in pots are doing well. They are planted in a mixture of and compost.  My compost consists of a mixture of straw bedding, chicken manure and decomposed kitchen waste and weeds. A lot of this matter contains seeds, and they tend to germinate and grow along with my tomatoes. Many of my pots now contain weeds. I weed out most of the grasses and weeds that grow in my pots, but I leave some. I find that they provide a green mulch and distract pests from my tasty tomatoes. While the pots may not look as attractive, there is no reason to worry if a few weeds are there. Beauty is a very personal thing.

Grassy weeds in tomato pots
  Grassy weeds in tomato pots

It is humid and hot, and rain would be welcomed. I know that the weather will change no matter what I might want. I am making sure to rest between garden tasks and moving at a slow and steady rate. Remember this is not a competition, take the time to sit, sip a cold glass of water and appreciate each sweet, caressing breeze as you become part of your garden.  Judith (Email:  sghorticultural@gmail.com)  Veggie Bites are available at https://sghorticultural.wixsite.com/website or https://gardeningcalendar.ca/articles/veggie-bites/

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