When your garden begins to look tired, it’s time to reset and refresh.
Your plants in the garden will thank you and pay you back with more blooms.
1. Pot up pretty annuals
Some early bloomers will flag in mid-summer and you may need to liven up containers. Bring some fresh blasts of color by potting up sun-loving annuals, such as zinnias, calibrachoa, petunia (pictured above), geraniums, New Guinea impatiens and coleus.
Coleus is a colorful annual in all but the mildest climates. Find out more about colorful coleus with its fine foliage.
2. Plant heat hardy perennials
If you’re digging in the garden, refreshing containers, window boxes or hanging baskets, make sure to add tough-as-nails perennials and foliage that can beat the heat in summer.
Look for plant tags that say drought-tolerant and heat-tolerant perennials when seeking ideas for planting. For starters, coreopsis, black-eyed Susan (above), coneflower, canna, daylily and others.
These flowering plants will save you time because they require little maintenance. Just water regularly.
Check out more worry-free plants.
3. Take down weeds
Get your weeds under control by taking steps now so they don’t gain ground. Weeds can crowd out your flowers and foliage and steal nutrients from them. One of the best organic ways to rid your garden of weeds is just to pull them either with weeder tools or by hand.
You can also cover with a layer of mulch (see step four) or read our story for more ways to whack weeds.
4. Layer of mulch
When the garden starts to look run down by the heat, add a fresh layer of mulch. It helps plants remain healthy and retain water with the added benefit of helping to keep down weeds.
Spread a 2-inch layer of fresh mulch between plants. Increase to 3 inches around the edge of bed.
Read more about mulch and use organic mulch options around edibles.
5. Prune and pluck
Now is the perfect time to prune, snip and deadhead spent flowers to encourage more growth. In your garden of edibles, remove dead stems from veggies such as peppers, zucchini, beans and tomatoes.
Check over your tomato plants and look for new growth between the main stem and branches and remove these “suckers,” giving a boost to the healthier stems so the plant produces more fruit. Just be sure to prune tomato plants early in the morning on a dry day.
6. Clear debris in beds
7. Get rid of pests
Don’t let pests gain ground in the garden. Inspect your plants, edibles, blooms and shrubs for signs of damage and treat according to pest. On edibles, be sure to use an organic insecticidal soap, neem oil or other option. See our story on organic methods for keeping pests at bay.
Not sure what’s bugging your garden? Use our pest problem solver tool and get to the bottom of it.
8. Edge and trim
Appearances are everything in your garden. Tidy up and use a string trimmer or edger to cut grass around shrubs, trees, raised garden beds and borders.
Check your garden for dead limbs on trees and shrubs and prune and trim those for a fresh look.
9. Stay on top of the harvest
Snip off herbs for grilling, cooking or preserving. Pick ripe tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, zucchini and other edibles growing in raised beds or containers.
When you pick your edibles and herbs, it helps the plant restore its energy and stimulates growth. Keeping basil from bolting during the hottest parts of summer keeps the harvest going longer.
10. Fix brown patches in your lawn
Once you’ve given your garden some attention, check out your lawn. Foot traffic, drought, flooding and pets can cause dry and bare patches in your lawn. Inspect your lawn for these and fill in with new soil and seed.
If you suspect that insects or fungi have damaged your lawn, consult our Plant & Pest Problem Solver Tool to determine the culprit. A product like Black Flag Outdoor Insect Killer Plus rids your lawn of harmful insects and fungi and prevents the lawn diseases they cause.
See our other lists for more great ideas:
- Keep Container Gardens Alive in Summer Heat
- How to Give Your Garden What it Needs to Survive Summer
- Fill Pretty Pots with Succulents for Cool Summer Style
- 5 Favorite Perennials for Summer Blooms