The spring garden rush is behind us now, but there are still plenty of things to do in the garden as the summer heats up! The hot summer months can be hard on plants in the garden, so extra care is needed to keep things looking good and healthy. Follow these guidelines to ensure your summer garden stays in tip-top shape:
- Plant to fill in empty spaces in the garden. Plant colorful annuals (petunias, begonias, celosia and impatiens) or flowering perennials (purple coneflower, black-eyed Susan, yellow bells, salvia and hostas). Plant in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid plants being stressed by midday sun. Plants such as trees and shrubs can be planted as long as extra care is taken to water properly until their roots are established. If possible, wait until fall to plant very large trees or shrubs.
- Prune trees and shrubs. Lightly prune summer-flowering shrubs such as oleander and crape myrtle. Prune only for shape, and never “top” trees and shrubs, which can distort their form. Prune back annuals such as petunias by half if they begin to look leggy and sparse.
- Water lawns and plants. Water either very early in the morning or later in the afternoon to avoid excess evaporation and disease development. Try to water closer to the base or roots of the plant rather than the foliage. Water lawns less frequently but more deeply for strong root development.
- Weed landscape and flower beds. Stay on top of those summer weeds! We all know what it’s like to let that go, only to have weeds take over a beloved perennial garden. Weeding the morning after watering makes this chore easier.
- Compost kitchen and yard scraps. Remember to turn your compost pile weekly, and continue adding kitchen scraps and garden trimmings. If you’ve had no significant rainfall recently, turn the hose on the compost pile to aid decomposition.
- Treat problems in the lawn and garden. Notice any brown spots on the lawn, holes in leaves, or leaves curled up at the edges. These can signify the presence of disease or pesky bugs. If you identify them and treat early, damage can be minimized or averted. Consult with your experts at The Home Depot for help with identification and treatment.