The unofficial start of summer is Memorial Day weekend but now it’s officially upon us! The longest day of the year brings sun-kissed skin, lazy days on the beach, barbecues, and great weather. With that summer sun comes all of your favorite outdoor activities like swimming, hiking, and gardening. Gardening in the summertime is easy, especially with these five summer gardening tips!
Prepare for Weeds
One of the five summer gardening tips is preparing for weeds. Weeds typically begin to crop up in August and compete with flowers, absorbing nutrients, sunlight, and water. Eventually, the loss of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium weakens these grasses, vegetables, and fruits, leaving them prone to insects and diseases. What’s worse is that invasive weeds, when not kept in check, can spread throughout your entire yard and cause major damage.
While weeds are inevitable to some degree, gardeners should do everything in their power to nip them in the bud. Pre-emergent and herbicide will kill weeds easily but should be applied early in the season and again six to eight weeks later. You can also use mulch as a weed barrier. Weeds need light and warm soil in order to survive. By putting down a 2-to-4-inch layer, you’re keeping the soil cool and moist while simultaneously smothering weed seeds to keep them from sprouting.
Plants need nutrients in order to grow. These vitamins and minerals are drawn out each year but unfortunately, these nutrients do not restock themselves. You must rebuild your soil by fertilizing your plants! Calcium, nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, and sulfur should be deposited into the soil in order to keep your plants happy and healthy. If your plants are in a container, you should fertilize your plants at least once a week or as often as every day.
Be careful though. Over-fertilizing plants can stress them out! The signs and symptoms are yellowing of blades or leaves, wilting, browning of the tips, and fertilizer crust. Too much fertilizer will make it difficult for plants to absorb water and ultimately detrimentally affect the environment. Take some time to rethink the amount of fertilizer you’re using, remove wilted leaves, and use water to get the excess fertilizer away from root zones and the bottom of the pot.
Prepare Soil & Clean
Till, till, and till some more. This will mix organic materials into your soil, help control weeds, loosen the area for planting, and break up the soil. The best type of soil helps plant roots develop and spread quickly, and through tilling, nutrients and water will spread throughout your garden. In order to prepare, you might also want to add organic materials like fruit and vegetable skins, eggs, and other compostable items.
You also much remove dead foliage and leaves in order to prevent the spread of infection. Prune perennials to signal more growth and deadhead annuals 4 to 6 inches promote a second bloom. Clean dead limbs and other debris to encourage healthier, rejuvenated plants.
It’s crucial that you make sure that your plants are properly watering in the summer sun. Sometimes, depending on where they’re placed, you may need to water twice a day. Water your plants in the early morning and afternoon in order to keep your plants from developing mold or mildew overnight and try to keep your foliage dry.
How do you determine that your plants need to be watered? Stick your finger in the soil up to the middle joint. If it’s wet or even just damp, don’t worry about watering. For container plants, pick them up just after watering and while they’re dry. Eventually, you’ll be able to discern whether your plant needs watering by weight.
Pest control is also a key part of maintaining your garden. Be aware of the different pests and unwanted bugs and be able to discern the difference between these bugs and their harmless counterparts. Then, consider natural ways to get rid of pests by planting herbs and flowers that ward off unwanted insects or create do-it-yourself pesticides with dish soap and cooking oil. Chemical sprays can often do more damage than they’re worth, so it’s best to try these formulas first and see if they work. You can also place bird feeders and bird baths in your garden to attract birds that will feast on unwanted insects and control their population.
There are so many other tips and tricks that can help promote growth in plants over the summer. These five summer gardening tips can truly make the difference in having the perfect garden. You can also get the perfect garden by adding topsoil from Top Soil Pros!