It’s summer! Whether you’re growing edible or ornamental plants in your garden, they’re probably well-established by now. That doesn’t mean you can stop gardening! In summer, gardens require some work; an attentive eye and preventive maintenance are both important. Here are some tips to keep your garden looking great all the way into fall.
- Get good advice before you begin. Trial and error is something that comes with the territory of gardening, but you can save labor and expense by seeking expert advice. You’re in luck! The U.S. National Institute of Food and Agriculture supports local county extension offices, using tax dollars, with volunteer and professional horticulture agents available to answer questions on the phone, by email, and in person. They also provide online articles and frequent workshops. Some of their services, like soil testing and insect or plant identification, may come with a nominal fee. It’s worth it, though, to get the right solutions for your gardening problems.
- To keep your plants growing and blooming, deadhead and prune. Just by removing spent blossoms, you can often get more flowers. Even if a plant doesn’t bloom further, deadheading keeps your garden tidy. Major pruning in the summer is detrimental for most plants, but a light trim to remove dead branches is fine.
- Use water wisely. The hot, dry, summer months mean more watering to keep your landscape healthy, but overwatering can damage some plants and lawns. If you can step on your grass and it bounces back, it doesn’t need water. Further, if you leave your grass a little bit long, it will grow deeper roots and become more drought resistant. Whatever you’re watering, do it in the early morning and it won’t evaporate as quickly as it would at midday. Fertilize regularly to help your plants stand up to the stress of summer.
- Watch out for pests. Healthy plants resist pests better than their weaker compatriots. Therefore, if you focus on growing strong plants, you’ll be unlikely to need pesticides. You can also avoid toxic pesticides by utilizing biological controls. Encourage birds, ladybugs, and other beneficial insects like spiders, centipedes ground beetles, lacewings, and dragonflies, and they’ll help you with pest control. If you need to use pesticides or fungicides, try organic products; they’re safer and gentler than traditional products.
- Keep the weeds at bay. Mulch early to discourage weed growth. Keep a close eye on your garden, pulling weeds out when they’re young and haven’t had the chance to develop deep roots and rob your plants of nutrients.
If you’re looking for the perfect plants for your garden, head to Moon Valley Nurseries. Moon Valley Nurseries started as a small neighborhood nursery, and now has locations all across the West. We deliver and plant anything in our massive inventory, and because we grow our plants ourselves, we can give our customers the lowest prices in town, guaranteed. Contact us through our website, call us at (602) 388-1529, or stop by to check out all we have to offer.