Summer Gardening Tips

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During the dog days of summer, it can be hard to know what is the best way to care for you garden, so we have put together this little guide to help you out!
by Nikki Sawyer · All Zones · Growing Basics · 0 Comments · July 19, 2017 · 4,651 views

  • Pull weeds as soon as you notice them to prevent them from going to seed. This will help to prevent overwintering weeds that will be a nuisance next year! Apply a fresh layer of mulch (1-2 inches thick) after you weed to help the soil retain moisture and to reduce future weed growth. A layer of compost with mulch on top also works well. However, try to avoid putting mulch or compost onto the plant stems themselves.
  • Remove spent flowers on annuals, roses, and perennials. Doing so will result in more blooms that will continue well into the fall season. If your annuals are looking leggy and worn, cut them back hard and fertilize them to produce a fresh profusion of blooms.
  • Prune shrubs and small trees to remove dead branches and to shape.
  • Keep any new plants (planted within the past six months) watered deeply during hot, dry spells. Whenever there is less than an inch of rain over a four-to-six week period, you should water even your established trees. Trees less than two years in the ground need water every one-to-two weeks. You should avoid too much moisture on the leaves, as this can increase the chance of fungal problems and water on leaves while the sun is out can cause foliage burning. It’s best to place a bubbler or a soaker hose around your plants or use sprinklers in the early morning or late afternoon.
  • Contact your state Extension Office to have your soil tested to see if you have any nutrients lacking. This information will allow you to choose the fertilizers and mulch most appropriate for your garden.
  • Go ahead and start your seeds for fall crops like spinach, radishes, lettuce, and greens. It’s also a great time to order bulbs for fall planting. (But don’t plant the bulbs until the soil temperature has cooled to at least 60-degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Watch for fall webworm activity now. If you prefer a more natural approach, release Trichogramma wasps now to reduce or prevent fall webworms. These wasps are tiny predators that eat webworm eggs before they become pests (the wasp does not control worms that already formed webs, which is why now is a good time to release them before the webworms become a problem).
Nikki Sawyer

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Nikki Sawyer - Dr. Nikki T. Sawyer is a biologist who also loves to garden!

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