In The Garden: Deadheading flowers

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BURLINGTON, Vt (WCAX) Your flower gardens are probably looking great right now, but if you want them to look good through the summer, Sharon Meyer and Charlie Nardozzi have a few tips for you.

We're in that mid-summer season where a lot of those flowers are going by. If you want to get another flush of blooms, you'll need to deadhead, otherwise your season is going to end early.

You may know about dead heading roses, for example, and perennials like bee balm and salvia. You just cut them back to another set of leaves and they'll send out another flush of flowers. But a lot of people forget about deadheading annuals. It tidies things up for sure, and it makes them re-bloom again. But it also stops them from self sowing.

So if you've got poppies, like California poppies, or these breadseed poppies. Or if you've got calendula or Verbena bonariensis, these plants will self sow like crazy. I've been pulling them out for days and days. They turn into weeds. Nice looking weeds, but weeds.

If you want to have a selection of them, just a little area of them like this, you can let a few self sow, but you want to pull out a majority of them. Either pull the whole plant out once it starts looking ratty, or just deadheading them so those seed pods don't mature. The key is to not let those seeds mature and then drop, because once they're in the soil, the seed can last a couple of years and they'll come back for you. And if you don't want a weedy mess, clean them up now, so that next year you'll have some of those flowers, but they won't be taking over your garden.