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To-do list for gardeners

A composite named tithonia is a long-flowering annual that monarch butterflies love.
A composite named tithonia is a long-flowering annual that monarch butterflies love. THE WASHINGTON POST

When installing annuals and other new plants, carefully examine the pot soil on all sides for weed seedlings, and pinch out interlopers. One tiny seedling can turn into a new invader with potential for long-term hassle.

Cut back late-summer-flowering, shrubby perennials now to promote bushier growth and a tidier habit. Candidates include butterfly bush, asters, caryopteris, lespedeza and perovskia. Use hedge shears to cut back growth by one-third to one-half.

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