Help Your Garden Survive This Summer With These Gardening Tips
Summer is when your garden will be put to the test by the elements. It can be hot, dry, and windy—not exactly conducive to thriving plants. But don't worry; with these summer gardening tips, you can help your garden make it through the summer unscathed. We've got you covered, from flowers to vegetables and everything in between. Read on for tips on how to help your garden survive the summer—maybe it will even thrive!
Summer Garden Checklist
To get your garden in good shape for the summer, make your preparations while it's still spring. That way, you'll have everything ready when the warm weather arrives, and you can focus on your seasonal maintenance tasks for the summer.
The biggest concern for plants during summer is if they're receiving enough water. When the rain lessens, most watering is up to you, so you'll want to ensure you have the essentials ready.
In addition to a hose, consider buying a nozzle, which can make the process easier on you. If you're interested in helping the environment while keeping your plants happy, you can invest in a rain barrel. Doing so will allow you to collect rainwater and water your plants rather than using hose or tap water.
Two other key items for summer (and all gardening seasons) are mulch and pest control. Mulch will help keep your soil moist and can also prevent weeds. Various pest control options are available, including traps, sprays, and powders. Find the method that works best for you and your garden.
Transitioning Your Garden from Spring to Summer
Just like we talk about "spring cleaning" for a home, a garden is the same. At the end of the spring, it's essential to clean and prepare so that your garden is ready for summer. These tasks include picking weeds, putting down mulch and fertilizer, and thinking about adding extra shade.
Weeds are one of the top enemies of a garden. They steal nutrients from the soil that your plants need to grow. They also can harbor pests and diseases that can harm your plants, so getting rid of weeds as soon as you see them is essential. Weeding is also an easy landscaping project to keep your home looking nice and improve curb appeal.
Adding extra shade to your garden can help protect your plants from the hot summer sun. You can do this by adding awnings or shade cloths to your garden, or if it's a potted plant, move it to a spot in the yard that doesn't see as much direct sun.
Best Summer Flowers
After enjoying all the beautiful colors of spring, gardeners are even more motivated to keep their summer plants beautiful. But which ones will make your job easier? Some of the best flowers to grow in summer include:
The key for summer flowers is to ensure they tolerate heat and drought. Depending on where they are in your garden, they may need to handle plenty of full sunlight.
How to Care for Summer Flowers
As temperatures increase, ensuring your plants receive enough water will be critical. The best way to water plants is by giving them a deep watering—watering them slowly and deeply so that the water can reach the roots. This type of watering encourages plant roots to grow deeper, which helps them access more water and makes them more drought-tolerant.
Spreading mulch over the soil is another way to keep the soil moist. It helps the soil stay cooler, meaning less water evaporates under the summer sun. Bonus: mulch can also help suppress weeds, which means less work and more room for your plants.
Inevitably, though, weeds will likely appear. Hand-pulling small weeds is the best way to remove them, especially if the soil is still moist. If you pull the weeds early enough, you can also prevent them from spreading their seeds.
Other tasks to stay on top of are removing any yellow or brown leaves, keeping an eye out for any pest damage, and deadheading spent blooms.
Best Summer Vegetables
Summer plants can be more than just pretty; they can also be practical. There are plenty of vegetable options for the warmer months for those who enjoy growing their food, including:
These vegetables are all more tolerant of heat and able to adapt to drier conditions. Most importantly, they can provide a bountiful harvest.
How to Care for Summer Vegetables
Like with summer flowers, gardeners need to stay on top of watering, weeds, pest control, and mulching for summer vegetables. Other vital tips for taking care of summer vegetables include disease control and fertilization. Because vegetables are eventually eaten, keeping the crops healthy is doubly important.
Preventing vegetable diseases can be done in a few ways. One is to buy varieties resistant to the diseases common in your area. Another is to use treatments, such as fungicides, when needed. Proper crop rotation is also vital in preventing disease—as time goes on, the soil quality decreases, so it's best to change where you plant a crop every season.
Fertilizer is a good option to encourage vegetables to produce more. It promotes healthy growth and can help offset any nutrient depletion in the soil from previous crops. Note that different crops will prefer different amounts of nutrients, and you'll likely want to perform a soil test to determine the state of your soil to know where (if anywhere) it's lacking.
When & How to Harvest Summer Vegetables
Different vegetables have different traits to indicate when they're ready to be harvested. For example, eggplant is best picked when the fruit is firm and glossy. On the other hand, green beans should be harvested when the pods are still tender.
It is essential to pick vegetables in the morning to get the best flavor. While this is true during all times of the year, it is especially true during summer. Produce harvested during the day's heat will not be as crisp, fresh, or flavorful as produce picked early. Plus, harvesting in the morning means you won't work up as much of a sweat.
Transitioning Your Garden From Summer to Fall
The hot days have given way to cool breezes. You've helped keep your garden happy during summer, so now it's time to prepare it for the fall. A few steps will help ensure your garden is ready to weather the cooler months.
You'll start with deadheading annual flowers and pruning perennials to keep plants from spending energy while encouraging new growth. You'll also want to get ready to move tender plants indoors, as they won't be able to deal with the colder temperatures on the way.
Harvest any remaining fruits and vegetables to prevent them from rotting on the vine and attracting pests. Then, you'll want to get planting for the next season; plant autumn vegetables, such as lettuce, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. These hearty plants can handle cooler temperatures.
Help Your Garden Thrive in the Summer Sun
Summer is a great time to garden, but it can also be challenging. The weather is hotter, and the days are longer, so your plants must work harder to stay alive. With a bit of preparation and smart gardening choices, you can help your garden thrive through the summer months. By keeping these things in mind, you'll be able to enjoy beautiful gardens all summer long. Don't forget to transition your garden correctly as the seasons change—that way, you can continue to enjoy homegrown fruits, vegetables, and flowers well into the fall!
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