Survival of the Fittest Garden
So, you’ve made it through an upstate winter and hopefully, your garden area did too. With the snow and ice and rain that we get during the winter months, many people look forward to as a way to put it all past them. But for some, their gardens aren’t as successful as what they could be because they lack a bit of knowledge when it comes to summer gardening tips. We have put together some of the most important tidbits of information that will help transform your “just ok” garden into a flourishing success this summer.Preparation for your garden this summer is the key. Summer weather varies from region to region, so knowing what temperatures and time frames you have to work with will help, as well as what varieties of plants or vegetables will do well is also important. Then comes time to plot your space and prepare it. Putting in a little extra effort before you plant will make a big difference. Ready for 12 specific tips? Keep reading.
- Pay attention and care for your budding plants. Many folks overlook their budding plants and focus only on those which have bloomed or blossomed. Ignoring your buds can often lead to sudden loss of potential flowers and dried up buds, especially those in containers. Mulch and water deeply once or twice weekly during hot, dry weather to limit this common and irritating problem.
- Potted plants, especially terracotta pots, need to stay cool. You can help them by lightly mulching them and moving them out of the hot, western sunshine. Standing potted plants actually, should not sit in water saucers because those can promote mosquitoes and root rot. A better option is to set them in sand saucers and to keep the sand moist. Have you ever tried to water potted plants or hanging baskets but just couldn’t get them back? Instead of pouring water and more water, try soaking them in a bucket of water for half an hour and then drain. Good tip!
- The time you water is essential in avoiding mildew with your plants. Always remember to water early in the day! However, if that isn’t possible, just be sure to leave enough time in the day for the water to dry out before the sun sets for the night. This reduces the risk of mildew and other fungi attacking leaves, and there’s less chance you’ll get caught by the evening shift of mosquitoes or sandflies.
- Add nutrients to your water and you’ll feed your plants and correct mineral deficiencies. There are so many combinations to use.
- Avoid cutting your lawn down too low. Keep it long and lush this summer. Brown, bare, weed-infested lawns are symptoms of scalping, which means cutting lawns too low. It’s a misconception that cutting lawns low reduces the cutting frequency. Longer grass wears better and is stronger, and it will also serve as protection from weeds getting through.
- Keep the water flowing! Check your equipment like hoses and irrigation systems for leaks or clogs. Water is essential for good summer gardening.
- Put in some extra work when the temperatures are cooler. There are always days during the summer that feel like a gift – the temp drops a bit. Those are the best days to do some manual labor and you’ll thank yourself after. Mow in the cool parts of the day too.
- Protect your new plantings. Newly planted vegetable or flower seedlings may need a bit of sun hardening. One good tip is to shelter them with 50 per cent shade cloth, old net curtains, dead palm fronds, or leafy branches for a week or two. This helps them establish without harm.
- Plan out shade with a purpose. Some plants need more than others. Plan, plan, plan!
- Boost trace elements. For example, magnesium promotes growth and the production of energy in plants. It can also help initiate flower budding. Add 1 heaped tsp of Epsom salts to 4.5L of water. Either spray the foliage or water it in at the roots. It’ll take some time but you can always read your garden’s needs.
- Pay attention to pests! Termites, earthworms and many others can ruin your garden instantly. Always watch for signs of pest species and keep garden tools with wooden handles, hardwood stakes and other timber temptations off the ground.
- Use your time wisely. You won’t be able to place everything you want in your garden (likely) and if you try, you may not have enough time or energy to properly take care of it. Be realistic and do your best with what you do plant. Gardening is a great hobby and you’ll enjoy the benefits. We hope these tips can get your summer gardening off to a great start!