Summer is the perfect time to get outside and put your green thumb to work. Whether you are an experienced gardener or just starting out, there are plenty of things you can do to ensure a successful and beautiful season. From choosing the right plants to watering effectively, there are many tips and tricks that can help you achieve the garden of your dreams. In this blog post, we will explore some of the best summer gardening tips to help you make the most of your outdoor space. So get your gloves and trowel ready – it’s time to get gardening!
1. Select The Right Plants
When it comes to summer gardening, selecting the right plants for your area is crucial for maintaining healthy plants and achieving a season full of blooms. Here are some summer gardening tips to keep in mind:
Consider Your Climate: Different plants thrive in different climates. Make sure to choose plants that are suitable for your region's climate and temperature. To discover what plants are suited to your climate and learn more about hardiness zones, check out our blog, "Understanding USDA Plant Hardiness Zones".
Choose The Right Soil: Make sure the soil in your garden is suitable for the plants you want to grow. Some plants, such as succulents, prefer well-draining soil, while others, such as hydrangeas, prefer moist soil. You can also conduct a soil test to help you know and understand the composition of your soil so that you can tailor it to the needs of your plants.
Consider The Amount of Sunlight: Choose plants that can tolerate the amount of sunlight in your garden. For example, if your garden gets a lot of shade, choose plants such as hostas that can thrive in low-light conditions. Low-light plants in high-light conditions and vice versa will not survive, let alone give you the beautiful and blooming summer garden you desire.
Be Aware Of Water Requirements: Different plants will also have different water requirements. Make sure to choose plants that have similar needs to simplify your watering routine and lead to happy and healthy plants.
Think About The Height and Size of the Plants: Make sure to choose plants that won't grow too tall or too wide for your garden space. Also, consider how the plants will look when fully grown. Plants that have outgrown their space can become susceptible to a number of ailments and are likely to cause damage to surrounding structures.
Look For Pest-Resistant Plants: Choosing pest-resistant plants can save you time and energy when it comes to pest control. Many native plants are suited to the area and less susceptible to pests and disease, making them easier to maintain and more likely to stay looking beautiful and healthy.
2. Properly Watering Your Plants
Proper watering is a critical aspect of summer gardening that can make or break the success of your plants. Here are some tips to ensure your garden gets the water it needs to thrive:
Watering: The frequency and amount of watering your garden needs will depend on factors such as the climate, soil type, and the type of plants you have. Make sure to water your plants regularly, especially during the hot summer months. A general rule of thumb is to water your plants deeply once a week rather than shallowly every day. This will encourage deep root growth and help your plants become more resilient to dry spells. Take note of any signs of over or under-watering, such as yellowing leaves or wilting. It is also best to avoid watering during the hottest part of the day when moisture will evaporate quickly. Consider installing a drip irrigation system or using soaker hoses to provide a consistent source of water directly to the roots.
Mulching: Mulching is the practice of placing a layer of material, such as leaves, grass clippings, or wood chips, on the soil surface around your plants. Mulching helps to retain moisture in the soil, regulate soil temperature, suppress weed growth, and provides the soil with nutrients as the organic matter breaks down. Make sure to keep the mulch a few inches away from the base of plants to prevent rot.
3. Fertilizing Your Garden
It takes a lot of energy for your plants to bloom, and in order for your plants to produce beautiful blooms throughout the entire season, they need the proper nutrients. The soil does not always contain all the necessary nutrients and can easily get depleted, which is why consistent fertilizing throughout the summer months is so important.
Fertilizing: Fertilizers provide essential nutrients to plants that they may not be getting from the soil. Choose a fertilizer appropriate for your plants and the soil in your garden. Some fertilizers, such as compost and manure, can be applied directly to the soil, while others may need to be diluted in water and applied to the plant's foliage. Be careful not to over-fertilize, as this can burn your plants' roots and cause them to wilt.
Composting: Composting is the process of breaking down organic material into a nutrient-rich soil amendment. You can make your compost by collecting yard waste, kitchen scraps, and other biodegradable materials in a compost bin or heap. Composting helps to improve soil health and structure, retain moisture, and reduce the need for synthetic fertilizers. Check out our guide on at-home composting today!
4. Don't Let Weeds Take Over
Weeds are one of the biggest and most consistent challenges when it comes to maintaining a summer garden, and letting them get out of control not only looks bad but also can set your garden back substantially.
Pull Weeds By Hand: Weeds compete with your plants for water, nutrients, and sunlight, and can quickly take over your garden if left unchecked. Hand-pulling weeds can be time-consuming, but it's the most effective way to get rid of them as you can be sure to get the entire root system. You can also use a hoe or cultivator to loosen the soil around the weeds and pull them out.
Mulch Or Weed Barrier: Putting down weed barrier where you can or mulching areas also helps to suppress weed growth by blocking sunlight from reaching weed seeds.
5. Pests in Your Summer Garden
A big challenge of summer gardening is dealing with pests. Remember to monitor your plants regularly and take action as soon as you notice any signs of pest infestation. Here are some tips to help you keep your garden healthy and pest-free:
Companion Planting: Planting certain plants together can help deter pests and improve soil health. For example, planting marigolds around your garden can help repel insects like aphids and whiteflies. Basil, chives, and mint also have pest-repelling properties. Adding plants like clover, beans, and peas can help fix nitrogen in the soil and improve its fertility. Click here to learn more about companion planting!
Natural Pest Control: There are many natural ways to control pests in your garden, such as using neem oil, insecticidal soap, and diatomaceous earth. Planting flowers like daisies, sunflowers, and asters also attracts beneficial insects like ladybugs, praying mantises, and lacewings that prey on pests like aphids and caterpillars. Don't want to wait for beneficial bugs to show up on their own? Purchase live ladybugs and praying mantis eggs online today!
Chemical Pest Control: If natural pest control methods are not effective, you may need to resort to other pest control options. Always be cautious and follow the instructions carefully!
6. Prune And Deadhead for Healthy Plants
Proper pruning and deadheading are essential for keeping plants healthy, reducing the risk of pests and disease, and encouraging continuous growth and blooming. Here are some tips on how and when to prune or deadhead your plants.
Deadheading: This term refers primarily to annual flowers. With many varieties, snipping or pinching off spent flowers will help to encourage more flowers to grow. This will keep annual flowers bushy and decorated with blooms throughout the season. Learn more about deadheading here!
Pruning: Regularly pruning your plants helps to control their growth and shape, promotes better air circulation, and prevents disease. Remove dead or diseased foliage, and cut back stems that are overcrowding or crossing over each other. How to prune can vary from plant to plant, so consult your local gardening professionals before cutting back your plants.
Harvesting: Similar to deadheading, regularly harvesting fruits and vegetables provides you with fresh produce to enjoy and encourages your garden plants to produce more. Remove any overripe or diseased produce to prevent the spread of disease and pests.
How To Keep Your Gardens Blooming All Season
It's easy to see how a little effort and care can make a world of difference in your summer garden. By watering, fertilizing, pruning, and controlling pests and diseases, you can nurture your plants to thrive and flourish throughout the season. Remember, gardening is an ongoing process, and keeping your garden looking its best requires regular attention and maintenance. So, take pleasure in the hard work, enjoy the fruits of your labor, and don't forget to share them with family and friends. As always, if you need any help, never hesitate to reach out to us with your questions. Happy gardening!