It’s too hot to think about planting. One day without water and all of your hard work shrivels; it’s very depressing. Thank goodness for soaker hoses and mulch. They are plant savers.
Most of the crape myrtles have bloomed, at least once. If you will strip the old bloom pods from the trees, fertilize and water, they will continue to bloom until frost. Don’t trim the limbs back at this time. There are many colors, shapes and heights from which to choose. Know what size you need before shopping. Have you noticed the lovely lavender, dwarf crape myrtles blooming in front of the Two Friends dress shop? They have been blooming since the Lavender Festival. They are planted with Katy ruella. There are several colors available in the dwarf crape myrtles. There are varities that reach 40 feet and are long lived.
Some things to do now are: stop pinching mums and fall asters, add a layer of compost to flower beds and gardens, thin iris and plant elsewhere, set out transplants for fall (tomatoes, peppers and eggplant). Provide late afternoon shade for new transplants. For more blooms from your perennials, cut back Salvia Griggi, Spire Indigo, Blue Salvia and Colombine. Prune back by 25-30 percent. Fertilize and water.
A zinnia that has been growing wild for many years has finally hit the test beds. Zinnia Solcita. It has small, bright yellow blooms with dark eyes. It also has small rough, long leaves and grows in a mounding effect. It will reach about 12 inches tall, plant in full sun and is drought tolerant. It can be used in beds and containers. I have mine mixed with purple iris and fall asters.
For a colorful combination, use orange and yellow purslane, blue salvias and Turk cap. They will bloom until frost. They should be available in nurseries soon.
Start planning for Wildflowers.