Avid gardeners are busy gardeners. Sowing, sowing, weeding, watering, harvesting, dead, composting, controlling pests ... and the rest!
Avid gardeners are busy gardeners. Sowing, sowing, weeding, watering, harvesting, dead, composting, controlling pests ... and the rest! But as the summer progresses, it is absolutely essential to take special care of your garden. After all, what's the point of having a beautiful garden if you cannot take a moment to enjoy its general beauty? Here are some ideas to help you make the most of your garden while the weather is still fresh, or ways to improve it for next summer!
Many pesky weeds love summer heat and quickly take the jump from tiny to gigantic. It's important to pull them from your garden because weeds steal moisture and nutrients from your plants. Many weeds also encourage insect pests and diseases to pop up in your garden. Weeds are easiest to pull when they're young and small. They also come out of the ground easiest when the soil is moist. Another reason to get them while they're young: You can stop weeds from producing seeds.
Add colour with summer annuals:
Once summer heat arrives, many spring-blooming annuals such as pansy, viola, and osteospermum fade. Make your yard look its best by pulling out the spent plants and replacing them with heat-loving. Heat-loving annuals grow quickly in warm temperatures and will soon provide a beautiful burst of colour.
Plant summer-blooming bulbs:
Summer bulbs such as calla, canna, and dahlia are surefire ways to add colour and drama to your landscape all summer long. These varieties are tender, so if you live in a zone where they're not hardy, plant them after all danger of frost has passed. Once temperatures rise, they grow quickly.
Remove faded flowers:
Remove spent blooms from many of your annuals and perennials, and you might see more flowers! Called deadheading, this process prevents plants from producing seeds, so they put more energy into beautiful blooms. Deadheading cuts back on future efforts, too, for plants that self-seed. Perennials (such as Columbine, coneflower, cup plant, false sunflower, garlic chives, and verbena) and annuals (such as datura, flowering tobacco, kiss-me-over-the-garden-gate, larkspur, and spider flower) can self-seed to the point of being weedy in the garden.
If you experience dry summers or a dry weather pattern, you may wish to water your garden to keep it looking its best. Most common garden plants prefer an average of 1 inch of water a week. It's best to apply that inch all at once to encourage plant roots to sink down more deeply in the soil. When watering, apply water directly to the ground rather than getting a plant's foliage wet; water sitting on the leaves can lead to disease. Soaker hoses are great for this!
Start a fall vegetable garden:
Vegetables fall into two basic categories: Cool-season and warm-season. The warm-season varieties – tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, cucumbers, summer squash – are all going now. Once temperatures cool, these plants will fade. Enjoy continued harvests by planting cool-loving vegetable seeds -so that you can enjoy fresh, delicious harvests this autumn.