Tips for Successful Summer Gardening
It’s summer “thyme” — how is your garden looking (see what we did there)? Keeping plants healthy during the summer month can be a challenge. At the same time as you are harvesting yummy vegetables, weeds and pests are popping up like daisies. And how much should you water, anyway? At Harvest Green, we feel your pain. Here’s a little “sage” advice (see, we did it again).
Take Care of Yourself
You can’t take care of your garden if you get heat stroke. When you are outside be sure to stay hydrated, wear long-sleeve shirts and hats and slather on the sunscreen. Don’t garden in the middle of the day. Do it early in the morning or later in the evening when temperatures drop.
It’s More About Maintenance
Maintenance is a huge part of gardening, but in the summer, it’s particularly important. That’s because weed growth is prodigious. Left unchecked, weeds can choke out your garden. Pests also become more of a problem. Inspect your garden every day. Pull weeds and look for pests.
Harvest on Time
When your vegetables are ripe, harvest them. If you don’t, plants slow down production and you won’t get the bumper crop you’ve been anticipating. Also, overripe produce attracts pests.
Mulch, Mulch, Mulch
The best thing you can do for your garden is mulch. Mulch shields your plant’s roots from the heat and sun, keeps them moist and deters weeds. Apply two or three inches around your garden, shrubs and small trees. You can also add a little mulch to plants in containers to help retain moisture.
You aren’t the only one that enjoys summer. Insects love it, too. Aphids are a particular problem. An infestation can destroy your garden. A natural solution is to introduce them to lady bugs. Slugs can be picked off plants. Use a natural insecticide to deal with other pests.
How Much is Too Much Water?
Too much water is as much a problem as not enough. Waterlogged roots are more susceptible to disease, rot and mold. Install a drip irrigation system to deliver the correct amount of moisture. If that isn’t possible, provide your plants with about an inch of water every couple of days. Be sure to water in the morning or late evening when plants can take in the maximum amount of moisture.
Off With Their Heads
Regularly deadhead your flowers to help them thrive. Deadheading means removing spent blooms from plants. This can be done with small garden shears or just by pinching off the dead blossom. Once they are gone, your plants will start blooming again.
Prepare for Fall
Start plotting your fall garden in the summer. In late August, begin removing dead annuals, add compost to replenish the soil and plant your fall crops.