Summertime is a great time to work in the garden. The weather is usually cooperative, and there are plenty of daylight hours for getting things done. Whether you have a small patio garden or a large plot of land, these tips will help your plants thrive all season long.
1) Water regularly and deeply.
During the summer months, your plants will need more water than usual. Check the soil every few days to see if it’s dry. If it is, give your plants a good soaking. Be sure to water at the base of the plant rather than from above to avoid leaves getting wet and developing fungal diseases.
Suppose you’re away on vacation or have busy weekends; set up a watering system that will do the work for you while you’re gone. A simple drip irrigation system can be installed in just a few hours. It will ensure your plants get the water they need even when you’re not around.
Watering in the morning is best so that the leaves have time to dry before evening when humidity levels are higher, and diseases can more easily take hold.
2) Fertilize regularly.
Plants need food just like people do. Give them a boost by fertilizing them every few weeks with a water-soluble fertilizer. Be sure to follow the package directions carefully so that you don’t over-fertilize and damage your plants.
Organic gardeners can use compost or manure to fertilize their plants. This is a great way to recycle kitchen scraps and other organic waste. Just be sure the compost is fully broken down before using it on your plants, as fresh compost can “burn” them.
Manure should also be well-rotted before using it in your garden, and it’s best to apply it in the fall so that it can break down over the winter.
3) Deadhead flowers.
Deadheading is the process of removing spent blooms from plants. This helps the plant to focus its energy on producing new flowers rather than setting seeds. Most annual and perennial flowers will benefit from deadheading, so it’s a good practice to do regardless of what kind of plants you have.
You can simply snap off the old blooms with your fingers or use gardening shears to cut them back. Be sure to make your cuts at an angle so that water doesn’t collect on the stems and cause plant diseases.
4) Pinch back leggy plants.
Leggy plants are those that have long, spindly stems with few leaves. This is often caused by too little light or too much fertilizer. Pinching back the stems will encourage the plant to produce new growth, which will be fuller and more compact.
To pinch back a plant, simply use your fingers or gardening shears to snip off the tips of the stems. You can do this a few times during the growing season to keep your plants looking tidy and full.
Pinching back also helps promote flowering in some plants, so it’s a good practice if you want your flowers to thrive.
5) Keep pests under control.
No garden is completely free of pests, but there are things you can do to minimize the damage they cause. Start by keeping your garden clean and free of debris. This will remove places for pests to hide and breed.
You can also use traps, barriers, and insecticidal sprays to keep pests at bay. Be sure to read the labels carefully and only use safe products for the plants you’re trying to protect.
Some shared garden pests include aphids, Japanese beetles, slugs, and whiteflies. If you’re unsure what kind of pest you’re dealing with, take a sample to your local nursery or Cooperative Extension office for identification.
If the situation is out of your hands, you can always call professional Pest Control services to help you.
With a bit of care and attention, your garden will be blooming in no time. By following these simple tips, you can enjoy a beautiful and bountiful summer garden all season long.