It's July and things have had a late start this year. Your garden is probably finally in full bloom. Flowers and grass are growing, insects are feeding and despite the heat and humidity, this is no time to rest. Spring is a mad dash to get your garden cleaned up and ready for the growing season! It may be tempting to sit back and enjoy your garden, but now it's time to give your garden your full attention so you can reap the rewards later in the season. Here are a few tips to help you get your early summer garden ready to shine.
- Work outside early in the morning when it's less hot and there's less humidity. This is a bonus because this is the best time to water.
- Check your mulch. If you haven't top dressed your beds by now, you should. You'll at least want to top dress any spots that are thin so you can help keep the weeds out.
- Remove weeds early in the morning or after a rain. Weeds are easiest to remove when the soil is damp. Try to get them before they go to seed.
- Fertilize with an all natural liquid fertilizer such as fish emulsion. The liquid fertilizer is immediately available to the plant for nutrition and will help it battle disease.
- Check your birdbaths and water features regularly. As things heat up, shallow water evaporates more easily. You want to be sure the birds have plenty of water during the summer season.
- Continue deadheading and checking for disease throughout the season.
- Pinch back tall growing late season bloomers such as monarda, asters, and helianthus. This makes them stockier and full of flower buds and prevents them from blooming too early and fizzling out too soon.
- Prune any shrubs as soon as they're done blooming. This prevents you from accidentally pruning off the buds for next year.
- Prune evergreen shrubs as soon as the new growth turns green.
- Fertilize your lawn.
Keep in mind this hot, humid weather is hard on your plants too. They may need a little additional water. If you find them looking droopy, give them an extra drink.