With the dog days of summer upon us, now is the time to get strategic about giving our gardens a little extra attention. We’ve got summer garden tips that are the secret to spending less time working in the heat while still giving your yard the additional TLC it needs during the hottest days of the year. With these five simple rules, we make it easy to keep your yard looking healthy, beautiful and offering you enjoyment through the peak of summer and right into early fall!
1. Water Consistently
We recommend giving gardens a good watering in the early morning to help you and your plants best combat the heat of the day. Very late afternoon is ok too but do so early enough in the day to allow time for leaves to dry before the sun goes down. Consistency is key, so be sure to water every day we do not have a soaking rain. On extremely hot days, containers may require an extra watering in the early evening after peak sun. Learn more with our Summer Pro Tips for Watering the Garden.
2. Encourage Bloom
Most perennials have a specific bloom period and annuals should provide you with color all season long. Plucking spent blooms (deadheading) from annuals and perennials will not only encourage new blossoms, but it can be meditative and therapeutic time spent for you! Also keep in mind, even if you introduced fertilizer to your beds and containers during the spring, your gardens can lose nutrients due to the need for frequent watering in the heat of summer. Feed containers at least once a week and consider a mid-summer fertilizing treatment for perennial beds to extend their health into early fall.
3. Mulch & Maintain
Adding a 1-2″ layer of mulch to your garden beds is not only recommended for aesthetics, but it also serves to retain moisture in your garden, keep soil cool and prevent the weeds that will compete with your plants for available water. This means less watering and weeding for you! It’s easy to keep up with weeds if you bring a bucket along during morning watering or on your nightly garden strolls and pull weeds as you see them appear.
4. Create Shade
Trees and other plants can help naturally cool your outdoor environment. Planting trees and shrubs near the patio or deck and locating seating underneath trees is like using nature as an air conditioner. In fact, areas in the shade can be 20-45 degrees cooler than adjacent sunny spots. You can keep things cool by arranging tall house plants or even outdoor trees and shrubs on the patio in containers for the summer, and later plant them in the ground during the fall. Installing a trellis with a quick-growing vine can also help create a barrier to the sun. Look to create a cooler space for enjoying time outside and to take respite from the sun while working in the garden.
5. Mow Less
One of the most common mistakes we see in the field with burned lawns, is when grass is being cut too short. Resist the temptation of short term gains. Although you might mow less often when grass is cut short, the heat and sun can do irreparable damage to your lawn in the long run. Set your mower to the highest level, ideally no lower than 3″. When grass is mowed high, root systems can develop deeper, to better tolerate drought conditions. You also have our permission to go slightly longer than usual between mowings!
We all want our gardens and property to look nice, but they are also meant for enjoyment. The maintenance that sometimes goes along with home ownership is not enjoyable for everyone and can be a lot to keep up with. If yard work or gardening is not for you, or if you would prefer to enjoy more and work less, we can help. Studley’s offers a suite of pro landscape services that will take care of everything for you. From plant supply, garden installation, seasonal maintenance and routine lawn mowing to installing hardscapes and automated irrigation systems, we can make your yard the envy of the neighborhood – all while you simply float around in the pool! Contact us for more information at 603.332.4565.
My Pro Tip: Home should be your comfort zone. Enjoy the fruits of your labor. Create an oasis for yourself and your guests with containers, hanging baskets, vines and tropicals on the deck, the porch, the patio or near the pool. Use our Plant Finder to research and identify options for your space and create your personal shopping Wish List. Also bring blooms indoors, see our Cutting Garden article for ideas on how to introduce plants that will provide you with fresh cut flowers all season long! Visit us in store for more pro advice on how to make your outdoor space one that gives back tenfold!
See you at Studley’s!