All your spring gardening efforts are starting to pay off, and you need to start taking a summer point-of-view for your garden as the temperature starts to rise. Here are some helpful gardening tips, specifically for the summer season.
Keep Things Watered
As it gets hotter out there, your plants need a lot more water. The trick is to water them regularly and not to wait until they start to show wilting in the leaves. Once they start to droop, they are already suffering and can be stunted for future growth for the rest of the season.
Water daily if you can, unless of course it has just rained and it’s not necessary. When the weather is dry, do it daily. A heavy layer of porous mulch, like straw or wood shavings can make a huge difference in keeping your soil moist.
Weed, Weed, Weed
Your plants are thriving, but so are the weeds at this time of year. With so much growth, you may not even notice a few unwanted plants. Leaving them just means they flower, go to seed and spread. Do your weeding chores frequently and do the work in the morning or evening when it’s cooler. Fortunately, that layer of mulch we just mentioned for water can help with weeds too.
It’s a few months into the growing season and your plants probably could use a little feeding. A layer of aged manure or garden compost is an excellent choice for a natural dose of nutrients, but a commercial fertilizer product can be just as helpful. You’ll want a higher nitrogen content for leafy plants and one with more phosphorus if you’re after flowers or fruit.
Add Some Shade
Many plants do very well in full sun, but some do prefer it slightly cooler. If you are having a hot spell, add a little shade over your more delicate plants. A sheet of lattice, a well-placed umbrella or even some lawn ornaments can be enough to block out the sun for your shade-loving plants.
Watch for Bugs
Summer is the season of bugs, and that means plenty of pests to be on the look-out for in your garden. Simple soap sprays can do wonders for the many small flying bugs, and vigilant hand picking can make a big difference with the larger beetles. You can also dust your plants with diatomaceous earth or try some of the stronger spray products to keep the pest population down.
If you don’t take care of the bugs now, they will flourish and lay eggs to continue the cycle for even more bugs later on. Again, do your chores in the morning or evening when it’s cooler, and it won’t be so tough on you.