CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) — August is the time of year when summer annuals including hanging baskets start to look worn out. Fox 8’s Scott Sabol learns a simple trick from AJ Petitti that will refresh your flowers and help them stay vibrant until Fall. AJ is the president of Petitti Garden Centers and in this edition of Dig This, he also shares some advice about keeping your vegetable garden healthy and protected from pests.

The Petitti team shares these tips:

Hard work is paying off now as the harvest phase of the gardening season kicks into full gear. AJ’s garden tips for viewers:

  • Harvest daily, plucking fruits and veggies in their prime. Don’t let them sit too long on the vine or fall on the ground to rot.
  • Inspect daily for insects, and use Captain Jack’s® DeadBug Brew to manage any pest issues.
  • Watch for powdery mildew to develop in the hot, humid weather, and spray Copper Fungicide to keep it under control before it damages development.
  • Pull any weeds that are growing fast and crowding the garden plants.
  • Harvest potatoes and garlic as the foliage of the plants yellow and die back, nature’s signal to the gardener that they’re ready!

Ornamental plant advice:

  • For annuals that have grown leggy, give them a haircut, pruning them back by at least one-third. It’ll break your heart but it’s very good for them. Feed them with Osmocote®, and the plants will flush out again with fresh, productive, floriferous growth within one to two weeks.
  • For perennials done blooming in the landscape, cut them back by half and feed them with Osmocote®. This will keep the foliage fresh and vegetative, and the plants won’t brown out the rest of the season. They may even produce more sporadic blooms!
  • For all trees & shrubs that you fed in the spring, it’s time to repeat that with a midsummer feeding, which will last the rest of the summer season and well into fall.