Swing into Summer Gardening

Ah, the lazy days of summer. But not you! The avid gardener stays on top of things year-round and there is plenty of summer gardening to do.


To keep track of what you are doing in the garden, you might like to Click and Print
the free Plant Notes Printable Planner Page.

Pruning and Trimming

summer gardening

At this time of year your garden is flourishing.

You can really enjoy the fruits of your labors in the garden. Another summer gardening task is pruning and trimming plants to keep them healthy and beautiful all year long.

If you want to keep on top of your garden and keep flowers blooming beautifully it's time to snip off dying buds or bits that won't flower.

This encourages new flowers, and channels nutrients and energy to thriving parts of your plants.

With roses, snip off any finished flowers to encourage more flowers.

Pinching shoots off of your tomatoes will help the main parts of the plant to grow stronger and larger.

Thinning grapes will do the same.

Watering

Summer droughts are common, as are watering restrictions. The best thing you can do in this case, in preparation for summer, is to keep a water barrel. This can hang out under an eaves trough or out in the open to collect fresh rain water. Use it to water your garden and planters.

Unfortunately watering does not follow your own personal schedule in the summer. The heat plays a big part in efficient and proper water for gardens and lawns. The best thing to do is water in the morning. Gardens should be watered every day, and be sure to keep an eye on your hanging baskets or planters as they dry out faster.

Avoid watering in the middle of the day. Much of the water will not reach your plants due to evaporation and your plants may get burned. Watering at night should be avoided as well as it attracts insects and disease to your plants.

Check your compost from time to time as well, as it may need moisture added to avoid drying out.

Weeding

You should try to take control of weeds in early spring when their roots haven't taken hold as deep, but summer is important for weeding as well. Try to keep on top of them as they steal water and nutrients from your gardens. Pull the weeds up from the roots, as just breaking off the tops gets you nowhere.

Did you know you can eat dandelions? There are all kinds of edible weeds that taste great and are good for you. Learn what weeds you have that you can be putting in your salad instead of the trash.

Harvesting

This is the best part about summer gardening—the rewards! Peas and beans grow quickly and can be harvested in summer, as well as lettuces and some fruits like raspberries.

Grow your own herbs like cilantro, parsley and thyme. They're easy to look after and if you harvest them often they grow back quick. Herbs can be dried or frozen, or just keep them in airtight containers or plastic bags in the fridge to use as you go along. They make food taste so much better and are really good for you.

Stake plants at this time of year as well, especially tomatoes and taller flowers.
You can also start harvesting seeds from plants and herbs this time of year. Follow this link to learn how to properly store seeds.

Do you have surplus tomatoes or other vegetables and fruit? Consider canning foods for winter, making preserves or freezing. Trade foods with friends and neighbors or donate them to homeless shelters and food banks.

Looking after your Lawn

If it's an especially, hot dry summer you may notice that there's little you can do to keep it from going brown. Realize, though, that just because your lawn looks dead doesn't actually mean that it is dead. The grass is likely becoming dormant, taking a break from the heat and trying to grow with little moisture. The best thing you can do is just let it be, watering every now and again in the morning jus to keep it going.

There are things you can do to prevent your lawn from dying. Don't mow your lawn really short as the taller grass shades the roots and helps retain moisture in the soil. Cutting your lawn really short may actually cause the roots to burn from the sun. Once the water restrictions have lifted and the drought is past your lawn will green up and grow again.

Summer gardening tasks are really endless if you're detailed about keeping everything in pristine condition. By following these tips you'll be well on your way to a summer gardening checklist that will keep you enjoying the outdoors all summer long.

Like to keep notes on what your plants are doing? Click and Print the free Plant Notes Page.

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