From Clearissa Coward’s Command Center/c4 Creations
7 Tips For Maintaining A Lush Spring-Like Garden All Summer
Spring has come and gone and if you love gardening as much as I do, you miss her already. Gone are the lovely temperatures of 80 & 85 degrees. They have been replaced with temperatures of 90 and above. Also gone is the much-needed daily or at least weekly rain showers. And, more than I, guess what misses these temps and those showers more…my garden. It’s this time of year that gardening becomes a chore for me and not as much fun as it is during the spring and fall. So, to help me and you too, get through the hot, dog days of summer, let’s find some ways to keep our gardens spring-time fresh during the hot days of summer.
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We can have that lush spring-like garden during the summer, but it requires some planning and some work.
According to Better Homes & Garden (BHG), a 2-inch-deep layer of mulch over your soil is one of the best things you can do for your garden. The mulch blankets the ground, shielding the soil from the sun. This keeps it cooler and your plant roots are happier and prevents moisture loss from evaporation as well. You can read more from BHG here.
BHG also says that one mulch is no better than the other and suggests you can use leaves or even grass clipping to mulch your garden. However, personally, I love the aesthetic charm mulch brings to a garden as well. Therefore, leaves or grass clipping will not do for me. I like shredded wood. It not only keeps the sun from baking the roots of your plants but it also has a clean look to it. I usually add a layer of mulch to my garden in the spring and another in late fall. The fall layer protects bulbs and cleans the garden up for the winter.
Obviously, we have to water more often during the wilting days of summer, but how and when we water is just as important as knowing we need to water.
Weetas advises that we should always water our gardens during the cool times of the day. The best times are early morning or evening to avoid evaporation.
Also, it is much better to water deeply; this means you should apply more water on longer intervals than to water a little bit every day, as this encourages the plant roots to sink in more deeply into the soil.
I like to water in the late evening. It’s a relaxing time of day and I don’t feel rushed. It gives me a chance to chat with neighbors and to enjoy the garden I’ve worked so hard to produce.
You will need to pay close attention to your potted plants as they will dry out faster than those planted directly in the soil. They do not have the option for the roots to go deeper into the ground for protection from the hot sun.The sun is very hot and direct on the front of my house so I try to water the potted plants twice a day if I can. I water in the morning before work and in the evenings when I water all of the other plants. This keeps them happy.
Try to remember that plants are more protected in larger pots than in smaller ones because there is more soil and therefore more room for roots to spread out. You will also have room in a larger pot to add mulch to the top of the pot to aid in sun protection and to help maintain moisture.
Some fertilizers are too strong for summer use, and you could risk burning the roots. However, I use natural fertilizers such as Epsom salt for my roses and coffee grinds for all my plants which will not burn my plants in the heat but will give them a much needed boast.
Weetas also suggests using water-soluble fertilizers during the hot months of summer as well. A liquid fertilizer treatment often reduces heat stress and it may help protect the plant in the future.
Apply a soluble fertilizer with added seaweed, and use that opportunity to simultaneously water, feed, and correct mineral deficiencies. I am not sure if seaweed is an ingredient, but I like Miracle Grow for summer gardens.
Now I will admit I am a little lazy about this. I have a large rose garden and the thought of deadheading each of those bushes is a little daunting. I generally give them a good haircut once the blooms are spent. Yes, I know that some gardeners say you aren’t supposed to do that because it is too taxing on the plants during the hot days of summer, but it works for me. I am not suggesting you do this, but with a rose garden as large as mine, I just cannot deadhead every single bloom. I give them a good trim, fertilize with Epsom salt and coffee grinds and before long there is new growth with new buds.
I do deadhead the few potted plants that require it, but I try to stay away from plants that require deadheading in order to have continuous blooms. I just do not have the patience.
If you are not careful, weeds can take over a small garden during the summer because they thrive in the heat and sun. The best time t0 weed is after watering or after a good soaking rain. The roots will release much easier when wet.
Weed often during the summer because what you do not want is to give a weed time to develop a strong taproot. If that happens, it is difficult to get rid of the culprit.
If you are traveling during the summer make sure you have a nice neighbor or pay one of the neighborhood children to water your plants at least once a day. If you do not have a neighbor, I would suggest a plant nanny for your potted plants. If you are gone for more than a couple of days a plant nanny can keep your pots watered up to a week depending on how hot it gets in your area. My only other suggestion is to pray for rain. 😉
There you have it. My suggestions for maintaining a lush and flowering garden all summer long. What do you do to keep your garden flourishing during the dog days of summer? Share your secrets in the comments section below.
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Until next time…I remain in my Element – God Bless!
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