How to Maintain Your Garden in Summertime

Summer is about to come, and our endless hours spent in gardens will become a reality again. During spring, we all got our gardens all set and ready for summer parties and barbecues. All those day-pool parties and night sittings will be possible again. But, in order to enjoy our garden for the whole summer, we must also put some effort and maintain it during the three warm months that are heading towards us. Whether it be small or big, fully furnished or not, gardens must always be kept well maintained! Also, it doesn’t really take much of your time if looked after properly and often!

Here is how to maintain your garden in summertime:

Organic Mulch Is Used To Cover Bare Soil

Mulch is an excellent way to keep cool in the summer.

Mulch made of organic materials:

  • Evaporation is slowed
  • Lowers soil temperature
  • Inhibits weed development (weeds compete with your plants for water)
  • Makes your plants look wonderful

So, mulch around plants where bare soil may be seen with a 2 to 3-inch layer of mulch. It’s also suitable for use in containers. To avoid moisture accumulation and decay, keep it away from plant stems and tree trunks.

Examine For Pests And Diseases

Plants that are more stressed are also more susceptible to pests and diseases. Look for symptoms of possible issues in your garden on a frequent basis (maybe with your morning coffee in hand). These are some of the most common indications and symptoms of an insect or disease infestation:

  • Leaves with dots or spots
  • Leaf edges that are brown and crunchy (mainly if you know the plant has received enough water)
  • Fruit that is rotten or stained (apples, peaches, plums, etc.)
  • On the leaves, there is a fuzzy white or grey growth.
  • Leaves that are fading, curled, or mottled.
  • Leaves with holes or ragged/chewed edges
  • Needles on conifers that have died
  • Premature defoliation and browning of the leaves
  • Cankers or oozing sores on branches and tree trunks caused by decaying branch ends
  • On stems or branches, silk webs, threads, or “tents.”
  • Tree bark with tiny holes (especially on ash trees)
  • Trees or shrubs that have abruptly lost their leaves
  • Stems and little branches with weird lumps
  • A sticky material on the leaves or under the plant (perhaps black mold)

Maintain Your Harvesting Schedule

Harvest your fruit, veggies, and herbs as soon as they’re ready (or even just before). Fruit and vegetables that are overripe or decaying attract a variety of pests (squirrels and raccoons really enjoy them!) and can spread fungal diseases to surrounding plants. Vegetables that have not been picked for a long time may become inedible. You know how mealy, rough, and seed-filled a giant zucchini can get if it’s concealed behind a tangle of leaves! Herbs that aren’t clipped back on a regular basis will cease growing and go to seed.

Continue Landscape Maintenance on a Regular Basis

Despite the fact that growth slows in the summer, frequent maintenance is still necessary. Maintain track of the following to keep your landscape healthy and looking its best:

  • (Before they go to seed!) weeding
  • Edging to keep the planting beds tidy
  • Removing algae and debris from water features
  • Removing invasive or hazardous plants from fence lines, walkways, roads, patios, and other areas to give clearance and a clean line of sight

If you don’t feel like gaIf you don’t feel like gardening in the heat of summer, employ a landscape care firm to handle it for you.

Plants Should Not Be Stressed

During the summer, avoid doing anything that would put a plant under more stress. Avoid significant trimming, splitting or transplanting, or treating with a high nitrogen fertilizer.

Pruning sick or dead sections of a plant, shrub, or tree are OK but don’t overdo it. The plant’s leaves assist in keeping it cool and shade the ground around it. Major pruning also encourages new growth, which uses up the plant’s energy reserves to help it withstand the summer heat.

Correctly Using Water

Summer watering does not need draining your well or incurring a large water bill. Both overwatering and underwatering might damage your plants. And it can damage them even more than you think, especially when you overwater. So, rather than saturating your area with unneeded water, irrigate wisely.

  • Understand the output of your irrigation system or sprinklers (if you have one). Here’s how to figure out how much water it gives off.
  • A goal to aim for is an inch of water every week on your grass (including rain, if we get any).
  • Containers and hanging baskets require more frequent watering, perhaps twice a day if they are in full sunlight.
    • Check to determine if they require water on a regular basis. Simply put your finger up to the second layer of dirt. The plant needs water if it is dry. Lift it up if it’s a little pot or hanging basket. Add more water if it’s way too dry.
    • During a heatwave, transfer potted plants to a shadier, cooler location.
  • To save time and money on watering, we recommend utilizing self-watering AquaPots.
  • Water early in the morning to allow plants to absorb the liquid before the temperatures rise.
  • Deeply water your plants. The roots of the plants are generally at least 6 inches deep, and water should reach them.
  • Keep an eye out for wilting. Plants are the finest indicators of when they want water; when they wilt, it means they require water. However, water them before they begin to droop!
  • Know what kind of soil you have. Plants that grow in sandy soil need to be watered more frequently than those that grow in clay soil.
  • Instead of using sprinklers, irrigate garden beds and plants with drip irrigation systems or soaker hoses. Because the water reaches the plant’s roots directly and does not evaporate as quickly, it is significantly more efficient. It also protects plants that are prone to foliar fungal diseases, such as phlox and roses.

High Mow the Lawn

Many people cut their lawns excessively short, exposing them to drought stress and heat damage.

For the sorts of turfgrass we have in mid-Michigan, a lawn height of 3 to 5.5 inches is recommended. That’s a lot higher than the average grass mowing height!

Cutting your grass taller minimizes stress and aids in the greening of your lawn without the use of additional fertilizer. Taller grass shadows the soil, keeping sensitive grassroots colder, preserving soil moisture, and shading off weeds, reducing pesticide use.

It’s also a good idea to leave grass clippings in the yard. They enrich the soil with nitrogen, organic matter, and moisture. One fertilizer treatment is equal to one season of grass clippings. You’re improving the soil and nourishing the lawn every time you mow!

Annuals That Are In Bloom Should Be Deadheaded

Annuals, for those that don’t know, are plants that are going through their entire life cycle in one growing season, from seed to death. To secure the future generation of plants, they have a natural tendency to generate as many seeds as possible. They devote all of their energy to bringing those seeds to maturity once they begin generating seeds, rather than “wasting” energy on making new blossoms.

We need to “trick” the plant into continuing to flower rather than setting seeds because we usually grow flowering annuals for the blossoms. This can be accomplished by deadheading wasted blooms before they go to seed. The technique is simple: simply select or clip off the withering blooms every few days, and the plant will continue to flower.

Heat-Loving Annuals Add a Pop of Colour

In your garden, you undoubtedly have a range of shrubs and perennials, including blooming shrubs (here are our top recommendations). However, by mid-summer, the flowers may have faded, leaving sections of the landscape devoid of vibrant color. If this is the case, summer-blooming annuals planted in the ground or in containers can fill in the gaps.

Here are some bright, low-maintenance annuals that thrive in gardens:

  • New Guinea Impatiens
  • Sweet Potato Vine
  • Verbena
  • Zinnia
  • Alyssum
  • Bacopa
  • Canna
  • Coleus
  • Cosmos
  • Geranium
  • Marigold
  • Petunia and Million Bells (Calibrachoa)

Increase The Amount Of Shade

Plants that are stressed or struggling will benefit from some shade, especially in the intense afternoon heat. If you can’t get the plants to relocate to the shadow, make the shade come to them!

A properly positioned lawn chair, a lattice panel put over the plants, or even an umbrella can provide temporary shade. During a heatwave, this might be the difference between survival and being burnt to a crisp for your more delicate plants.

Consider utilizing shade fabric to shade bigger areas or to provide more permanent sun protection. It will lower the temperature by 10 degrees or more beneath it. 

To hold the cloth over the plants, you’ll need to build a frame. Shade fabric can be supported by PVC pipes, chicken wire cylinders, cow fences, and spare pieces of plywood, among other materials. Simply avoid draping the shade cloth directly over your plants; it will give less sun protection and limit air circulation (which could encourage diseases).