When high summer arrives, the abundant beauty of our flower gardens can spill inside our houses too. Sow True Seed sells many easy to grow flowers. Flowers don't just add beauty, there are a myriad of practical reasons to add flowers to your landscape and also tuck them into your veggie gardens. They fill out the bare spots, bring color and scent to your world, attract pollinators to help increase your vegetable yields, and can provide seemingly endless blooms to decorate your inside space as well.
Some mid-summer bloomers for cutting are...
Gaillardia - An easy-to-grow perennial with large, daisy-like blooms of red and red/yellow. They bloom mid summer to fall. They attract butterflies, like full sun and are drought tolerant.
Corn Poppies - Is there a flower more cheerful than the poppy? Happy, silken orange flowers sit atop green ferny foliage. Low growing plants stay below 18" and are drought tolerant. Direct seed after last frost. Annual in most regions, perennial in warm climates.
Bright Lights Cosmos - Showy, graceful annual with 3’ tall sunset-orange, red and yellow double flowers that attract butterflies. Mid summer to fall bloom. Self-seeds. Drought tolerant.
California Giant Zinnias - All Zinnia's are the gift that keep on giving! They can be easily direct sown as soon as the ground starts to warm, and if you keep them deadheaded, will continue to blossom all summer long, and often well into fall. Cali Giant makes a great cut flower because it's long stems are perfectly vase-sized.
What flower seeds can still be sown in July for fall bloom?
Here in Zone 6/7 we mark October 15th as the likely date for the first frost. So anything less than 90 days has a good chance of blooming. The heat of summer often speeds up growth if it doesn’t fry the seedlings (make sure to protect the young and tender seedlings). Here are a couple you can still plant through the end of June:
Sunspot Dwarf Sunflower - (80 days) – Magnificent 10” blooms with bright yellow petals on 2′ tall plants.
Single Rainbow Aster - (120 days) You'll have to plant these in early summer, but asters are a welcome food source for bees in late summer. 2‘ tall, moderately frost sensitive annual. Scarlet, rose, pink, blue-purple single flowers with yellow eye. Full sun. Late-summer to fall bloom.
How to maintain your flowers...
For perennials, dead-head (remove spent blooms) after flowering. Cut perennials back in August to encourage re-growth for a second blooming in fall. In early spring cut back to basal foliage and divide if necessary.
For most annuals, frequent cutting of blooms will keep plants bushy. Prune back one long stem every week or so, cutting back to a set of leaves or a node. The plant will then send out more shoots from that point.
Try to plan for something to be blooming in your gardens throughout the whole warm season. The pollinators will thank you with increased vegetable yields, and you'll have something lovely to decorate your home with for months on end!