Gardening Tips for the Summer

HydrangeasThe Stockade garden is bursting with beautiful flowers. Love gardening? Hate what summer does to your plants? When facing hot weather or a drought, these simple gardening tips for the summer will help preserve your garden.

Start by choosing the right spot for the plants that you will grow. If the plants are shade-loving, putting them in direct sunlight will bring many challenges for you and ultimately, the plants may die. On the other hand, if the plants require direct sunlight to grow and flower, be sure the spot you choose is best for the plant so it will thrive and produce beautiful blossoms.

First, choose hardy plants that are heat-resistant or those with an extensive root system. Annuals vary from heat-lovers to heat-haters, so it’s best to match the plant to the place. While it may be Begoniastempting to choose annuals for their incredible bloom, it may not be worth the trouble it will take to try to keep them alive. Some plants tolerate heat better than others. Your local nursery can give you advice or you can do the research yourself on the internet about what’s best for your particular garden. Perennials are an investment in a garden that will last more than one growing season. Those that bloom mid to late summer are especially adaptable to the heat, while cool-weather perennials that bloom in the spring and early summer have a more difficult time with heat. Many plants now have a USDA heat zone rating.

Before planting, fertilize the soil well using organic compost and other fertilizers. When planting, Hibiscus2create a moat around each plant so that when the leaves drip, they will drip into this area and funnel the water back to the roots. When planting seeds, keep a small ditch over the channel of seeds so that the water can soak into the soil to reach the seeds rather than run off to another area, leaving the seeds dry.

Continue to fertilize the plants, following the instructions for the particular fertilizer, but do not over-fertilize. The plant will get many of its nutrients from the soil. Fertilizing correctly will not only give plants a boost but will help them in times of stress.

FloweringShrubIf the heat is really intense, consider using shade cloths available at many garden and home stores. You can even use old sheets or sheer curtains. While it may not give you the look you want, it may protect those plants that you have put so much effort into growing.

Use mulch. Mulch protects the soil from the sun and helps it to retain moisture. There are many types of mulch from which to choose, or you can make your own with newspaper or cardboard.

Water frequently, particularly in areas where the temperature is above 90 degrees. Make sure the root ball gets water. The soil should be wet 6” down. Instead of guessing, use a trowel and check the depth of wet soil. Keep your garden weeded as weeds will compete with plants for water and nutrients.

MagnoliasIf there is brick, concrete or stone near your plants, remember that they will absorb the heat and continue to produce heat after the sun has gone down. Plants in these areas will require even more attention.

While it may take some experimenting to find the correct plant for the area and the appropriate watering and fertilizing for the plants, the work is gratifying when it produces the look you want.

Come stay with us and visit our garden!