Summer Tips for your GardenWarm weather is finally here and it’s time to get the most out of your garden this Summer! These gardening tips can be used to care for your plants whether you’re caring for a small patio planter or a backyard oasis. From managing weeds, providing proper hydration, safeguarding against pests etc., these tips have got you covered. Let’s dive in and get you a beautiful and bountiful growing season this year!
Choosing a Planter:
When it comes to container gardening, you’re going to want to do some research before purchasing a planter. Ideally you should opt for a container with good drainage and a built-in water reservoir. The built-in water reservoir provides your plants with consistent moisture and allows you to water your plants less often. These planters are perfect for moisture-loving plants such as daylilies, hostas or ferns. Lastly, don't forget to check and clean your planters from the previous season to remove any potential diseases or pests.
Alternatively, if you have the space and are looking for a rewarding experience you can build your own garden bed. Making your own garden bed offers many advantages. You can customize the bed according to your needs and aesthetic preferences. It is also a good opportunity to recycle some unused building material such as wood or concrete blocks.
Beating The Weeds:
The bane of all gardens – WEEDS! They love drawing nutrients away from your plants, so make sure to regularly inspect your garden for this menace. Applying a layer of mulch around your plants can also help with suppressing weed growth by blocking sunlight and preventing weed germination. Once you identify the weeds in your garden it’s important to remove them swiftly.
Depending on the weed species there are different removal methods that you can try:
- For smaller weeds with shallow roots, you can grasp the base of the root and hand pull it.
- When dealing with a taproot dig around the base of the weed, loosen the soil and extract the entire root system.
- In cases where weed seeds have already formed, preventing them from dispersing is essential. Use pruners or scissors to cut off the weed's flowering heads or seed pods before they have a chance to release seeds.
Applying a layer of organic mulch such as woodchips, straw or shredded leaves around your plants helps maintain soil health and can help with preventing weed growth. The mulch acts as a protective barrier and conserves soil moisture while also regulating the soil temperature. As the mulch breaks down it will contribute to the organic matter content of the soil.
This is vital for soil fertility and will improve its structure, nutrient-holding capacity, and water infiltration and retention abilities. The decomposition of mulch enriches the soil with essential nutrients, trace elements, and beneficial microorganisms, creating a favorable environment for plant growth.
We all know that watering is essential to plant growth but it’s crucial to do it correctly. Make sure you time it right, the best time to water is either early morning or late evening when the temperature is cooler. If you opt to water in the middle of the day, the excessive heat can cause significant water loss due to evaporation. It’s also crucial to water your plants at their base focusing on the root zone. By delivering water directly to the roots, you provide plants with the essential moisture they require for growth.
Depending on your garden’s size it may be wise to invest in a drip irrigation system. Unlike sprinklers which can result in excessive water wastage, drip irrigation offers slow and steady moisture precisely where it's needed. You can set the systems on timers or control them manually, allowing you to adjust the frequency and duration of watering according to the specific needs of your plants.
Pests will be looking to move into your gardens this summer season, but you can minimize damage with good pest management. Encouraging beneficial insects like ladybugs, lacewings, and praying mantises can be very valuable for your garden. These insects tend to naturally control pests. Make sure to regularly inspect your plants for signs of infestation. This can include chewed leaves or discolored patches. If you’re looking to keep your garden chemical-free look into using organic pest control methods like neem oil or insecticidal soaps to deter pests.
My favorite chemical-free pest control method is using neem oil. This natural repellent is an oil that is extracted from the seeds of neem trees. This seed is a natural insecticide that disrupts the life cycle of insects which makes it a powerful insecticide.
Make Your Own Natural Insecticide
- To create your own, you’ll need a few things a mild dish detergent, water, a spray bottle and neem oil.
- To start you’ll need to mix about 1 to 2 teaspoons of detergent to about 1 gallon of water and mix.
- Once you’ve done this add 1 to 2 tablespoons of neem oil and mix that thoroughly.
- Now that you’ve got your solution pour it into a spray bottle of your choice and make sure you reapply it every seven to 14 days.
As you embark on your summer gardening journey, remember that a thriving garden requires careful planning and consistent maintenance. By choosing the right planters, combating weeds, embracing mulching, watering wisely, managing pests, and tending to plants in the ground, you can create an environment where your plants can flourish. Take the time to observe and appreciate the growth and beauty that summer brings to your garden. Gardening is a continuous learning process, so don't be afraid to experiment and adapt your practices to the needs of your plants.