Mid-Summer Gardening: July Maintenance Tips
New & seasoned gardeners alike work their blossoms off in the late spring and early summer. This period is super important to lay the groundwork for successful plants of any kind. But the key thing to remember is that a gardener’s work does not end there. In fact, there are several critical tasks that you need to keep up with if you want your plants to thrive all summer long.
1. Weed Out
The traditional method for dealing with weeds is just pulling those suckers out. While that can be effective, remember that each time you yank a weed from the ground near your plants, it significantly disturbs the roots. This type of frequent disturbance can stunt growth and cause dryness. Instead, consider using the mulch method. Lay down a 2-3 inch layer of organic mulch (at least 50% peat moss) around your plants. What this does is create a thick barrier that weeds can’t penetrate. Then the weeds rot below and add to the beneficial organic matter your plants love to gobble up. But there’s another benefit as well – the mulch traps moisture in the base and roots of your plant, which is very helpful as temps rise in July and August.
2. Water is Life
The mid-summer kiss of death for plants is dehydration. The hot summer sun can really do a number on your garden if you don’t provide enough water at the right times. Remember that most plants need at least an inch of water per week and even more if the weather is particularly scorching. You can make the most of the water you give your plants by using a watering method that delivers smaller amounts over a longer period. A convenient solution is a soaker hose, which is perforated to allow water to drip through slowly along the whole length of the hose. This helps water to really seep deeply into the ground instead of just pooling on the top layer.
3. Deadhead & Harvest
If your garden contains flowers, fruits or vegetables, you must maintain health by keeping things fresh. For flowers, that means removing dead flowers. For edible plants, it means picking the fruit or veggies at the right time. If you let them rot on the vines or fall off and go bad in the soil, they could attract pests that cause problems for your garden.
4. Make Time
A garden is not a “set it and forget it” sort of thing. You need to set aside time a couple times a week to check on your plants. In addition to watering and weeding, take the time to take a close look and make sure there are no signs of disease or pests, problems with roots, soil or dryness. If you catch problems early, they’re much easier to remedy. And if you’re stumped about what to do, stop in to Packard Farm and let our gardening pros help. Planting a garden is a little like raising children. You need to give them a good start to life. But your job is far from over – they need attentive, nurturing care to grow up big and healthy. So, though the beach may be calling and lazy Sundays are tempting, don’t forget to maintain your garden