A summer garden makes for a gorgeous and practical addition to any home. Whether you’re planting colorful flowers, homegrown produce, or a combination of the two, there’s something inherently satisfying about tending a garden.
But it takes a lot of work to keep a summer garden thriving. Harsh temperatures, a lack of rain, and destructive insects can seriously stress your plants out and prevent them from thriving.
Healthy Summer Garden Strategies
While it will take some work, there are steps you can take to ensure that you’ve given your garden a great chance at staying healthy and thirving all summer long. These are our top 5 tips for a healthy summer garden.
1. Take the time to mulch.
You should invest in enough mulch so that you’ll have enough for a layer about 2 inches deep covering the soil. It’s always best to take the time to remove the old mulch before putting down the new material. Mulch provides your garden with quite a few benefits. By keeping the soil out of direct sunlight, the soil has a better chance of retaining moisture – so your plant’s roots will be cooler and happier in the summer heat. No one kind of mulch is better than another. Shredded wood remains the most popular option, but you’ll get the same benefits from grass clippings, shredded leaves, or other organic matter
2. Weed regularly.
Weeds are one of a gardener’s worst enemies. They steal water and nutrients from the plants, making it difficult for a garden to thrive. It’s crucial to weed regularly – weeds are much easier to remove when they’re small, and they tend to grow and spread at a rapid pace. A single dandelion can spawn about 2,000 seeds a year, so it’s always best to get rid of the pesky plants before they have a chance to reproduce.
3. Do routine pest control.
Summer garden pests are just about as terrible as weeds. And like weeds, they need to be taken care of on a regular basis. Just because your garden is pest free one week doesn’t mean it will stay that way for long. If you want to keep your garden organic, neem oil works wonders as a natural pesticide. Click here to learn how to apply neem oil to your plants, and to explore some other organic pest-deterrents.
So educate yourself on common garden pests in your area. Some that you should be on the lookout for include:
- Black spot
- Japanese beetles
- Tomato hornworms
4. Be vigilant with watering.
Some regions may get enough rain during summer to sustain a healthy garden, but at some point, you’ll likely need to provide your plants with some additional water to keep them from drying out. You’ll want to make sure your garden is getting about an inch of water a week. It’s best to use a soaker hose or spray the water directly on the soil – too much water on the foliage can lead to diseased plants. It’s generally best to water in the morning, before the hottest part of the day, but after the sun has come up. And if you’ve had a lot of rain over the course of the week, skip the watering. Too much water can be just as bad for plants as too little.
5. Don’t forget to prune.
Pruning dead or diseased portions of plants is crucial to overall garden health. These unhealthy parts of the plant are robbing nutrients from the rest of the plant. Taking the time to prune away anything that’s damaged or dead will encourage healthy growth and can help to prevent the spread of disease.
Keeping a summer garden healthy takes work, but it’s well worth the effort when you see the beautiful results all season long. With these tips from Prime Home Inspections, you can grow a thriving garden that produces vegetables for your family and friends.