Summer Gardening Tips

Jul 29, 2013

According to a survey, one of the most effective ways to boost the curb appeal and value of your home is by having nice landscaping. But summer’s hot temperatures and high humidity can wreak havoc with gardens, but experts say with a little knowledge even novice gardeners can survive the season.

Water Less

Tim Guy, a manager at Merrifield Garden Center in Merrifield, VA, explains that plants and lawns don’t need as much moisture as you might think. In general, he advises, deep soak lawns once a week—as opposed to watering in several short sessions—to encourage deep plant roots.

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Colorful summer annuals like snapdragons, petunias, sweet alyssum, nasturtiums, and lobelia make porches, decks and patios inviting. Annuals need sunlight for four to six hours every day and regular fertilizing.

Perennials such as miniature roses, Star Jasmine, clematis and Russian Sage and shrubs need an inch to 2 inches of water a week, concentrated in their root zone during the summer. Keeping the soil dry will discourage funguses like powdery mildew, a fungus that looks like a white film on the leaves of ornamental plants. Powdery mildew isn't harmful, but it can impede growth.

The same rule of less watering also applies to veggies, Guy says. Just give them a good weekly soak.

“The most important thing is to watch for signs of disease or insects, like plant-eating beetles, to make sure you’ll have a good harvest.” Additionally, to help your potted plants retain water, use a product like Soil Moist when planting.

Seasonal Interest

If you’re struggling to keep up with mowing the lawn, pulling weeds or trimming overgrown shrubs this summer, you’re not alone.

Hot, humid summers encourage fast growth of plants, lawns and shrubs, which is why many homeowners in the Eastern U.S. are already looking forward to the cooler days of fall, the perfect time for planting bulbs and planning next year’s garden.

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