Keeping Up with the Chrysanthemums: Summer Gardening Tips
Summer is just about here. The initial preparations of planning, planting, and cleaning your garden are behind you, now comes the summer gardening months of maintenance. Check out our tips below to help you keep and update your garden into the summer months:
Set up support. As your plants begin to grow large (especially tomatoes and vining plants) they will need support to grow. Add cages, trellises, stakes, or your own DIY ideas to help you out.
Water. Then water. Then water some more. As the hot weather begins to arrive, it is important to increase your watering schedule. If there is less than one inch of rainfall over the course of a week, you need to water your plants. Be sure to water the roots of the plant, not the foliage.
Get rid of weeds. Cultivating the ground in your garden helps keep weeds at bay. For those that have already sprouted, be sure to get as much of the root as possible without harming the plants you intended to grow. If you are finished seeding, consider a product like Preen to stop further seed germination (i.e. weeds) from taking root. Plants will not be harmed, but any seeds you plant won’t break the surface.
Deadhead flowers that have finished blooming, like petunias, phlox, and daisies. Blossoms that have finished blooming can deter more blossoms throughout the summer. Deadheading might seem tedious, but it will ensure that you have the most blossoms you can get during the season.
Keep an eye out for pests. The chill of spring is behind us and the bugs are officially out! You’ll need to protect your plants from an array of bugs, like aphids, beetles, and caterpillars. Check out gardeners.com for a comprehensive list of bugs, animals, and diseases that can wreak havoc on your garden and how to defend your garden against them.
Plant annual flowers. Now that it is warm enough and we are finally free of frost risks, plant a few annual flowers to brighten up your garden. Annuals aren’t the top choice for every gardener, but certain varieties have plant-related powers. For instance, many animals (such as deer and rabbits) do not like the smell or taste of marigolds. Planting then around the exterior of your garden is a good pesticide-free way of deterring certain animals. And nicotiana plants, chrysanthemums, and ageratum (aka floss flowers) are great at repelling mosquitoes!
Plant summer bulbs. June is a good month to plant perennial bulbs, like cannas, gladiolus, lilies, and dahlias. These plants will bloom from late summer into fall.
Summer garden care is not just weeding, watering, and mowing the lawn – there is still plenty to do in your garden after the initial spring planting. For a month-by-month guide to the growing season, check out NYBG.org.
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