The summer garden is such a pleasure. All the hard work from spring is paying off as plants thrive in warm temperatures.
Gardening this time of the year is about maintenance. For annuals like zinnias and others that means deadheading.
In general plants grow, then flower in an attempt to make seed. Once the seed has dropped the plant has done its job. If we remove the flowers, the plant will continue to produce blooms in an attempt to procreate.
Not all flowers need deadheading. Modern breeding techniques force plants to keep flowering even without deadheading.
I go through the garden and pick off spent blooms of zinnias, dahlias, cosmos, geraniums and more. The big question is how far back to pinch them. You'll get a feel for it, but I usually go back to the next crotch of the plant. This will force the plant to branch and add more flowers.
In the perennial garden there are plants which can be cut back to rebloom. Daylilies, monarda, salvia and purple coneflower are just a few.
Daylilies might be the biggest surprise. They start to look ratty this time of the year and can be hacked to the ground, fertilized and watered for a return show. It doesn't happen every year or with every variety, but there's nothing to loose.
Cutting all the spent blooms off monarda (bee balm) will usually bring a whole new flush of blooms. When the salvia and purple coneflower are done, they can be cut back and will return, blooming until a freeze.
Enjoy time in the garden knowing every spent flower picked will mean two more in the future.