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Prune annuals and roses. Although this is not the time of year for a hard (severe) pruning, many plants enjoy a bit of a haircut during the long, hot summer.
Cascading annuals such as petunias often get leggy and stop blooming, so cut them back by half to promote bushier growth and increase flower production. Roses that are known to be repeat bloomers will also appreciate a light pruning to encourage a fall bloom cycle. Remember to fertilize your roses after pruning and water in thoroughly.
Water deeply and less frequently. Light, frequent waterings will simply encourage shallow roots, which will not serve your plants well in times of heat and dry weather. It's preferable to water more deeply but less often, encouraging your plants' roots to dig down deep into the soil.
Avoid watering directly onto the foliage of your plants, and water earlier in the morning or later in the day to avoid rapid evaporation. Better yet, install drip irrigation or soaker hoses to direct water closer to the plants' roots.
Vacation-proof your garden. Before leaving for the lake cabin, be sure your garden will get the care it needs. If you're only going away for the weekend, you'll probably be okay, but longer periods of time will take a toll on your flowers and shrubs. Ask a neighbor to water for you, leave notes on specific care instructions, and be sure your automatic irrigation system is set to run at the proper times.
Planting guides for your Texas garden
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