Here are a few helpful suggestions and tips to keep your gardens at their peak performance during the summer months.
Weed once a week
Now is the time when tiny weed seedlings become huge monsters almost overnight. Pull them by hand or hoe them before they use the nutrients in the soil intended for your vegetables, annuals and perennials.
Feed the Roses
Any other heavy feeders should be fed now too. Continue to feed them once per month until frost. Most heavy feeders use a great quantity of soil nutrients to produce those big bold blooms we all love. Keep them producing regularly with regular applications of liquid fertilizer. Some compost isn’t a bad idea either.
Dead head remaining spring bulbs that have faded
Clip off any seed pods that may have formed on your daffodils, tulips, grape hyacinths, etc. This will encourage growth underground for next year’s blooms. Leave the foliage and let it die back naturally. This lets the plant feed itself and the parent bulb for next spring as well. Plant spreading annuals such as lively petunias next to it to camouflage it.
Remove spent blooms from annuals and perennials
Pinch or clip off any dead or faded blooms once a week. This encourages re-blooming and keeps the garden looking fresh and tidy.
Harvest fruits and vegetables regularly
Zucchini and summer squash may need to be harvested every day. Cucumbers and tomatoes need to be watched carefully and mature fruit removed promptly so the vines are not damaged by the weight. Corn should be harvested when the silk at the ends of the ears is just starting to brown. Blueberries and strawberries should be harvested as the fruits mature. Check them daily.
Don’t forget hanging baskets!
Water them every day taking care to pinch off any spent blooms or dead foliage. Feed with liquid fertilizer once per week. Hanging baskets and container plantings need extra care in the heat. They can dry out very quickly, especially around the edges where evaporation occurs first due to the shallower soil.
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