After all the hard work you have put into building and planting your garden, you want to make sure that you are adequately nurturing it so that the plants, vegetables, and flowers are able to survive through the hot days of summer and into the autumn.
From the right time of day to water your plants to how deep your mulch should be, from which vegetables can be harvested all summer to the best ways to keep pests out of your plants, continue reading for the five essential tips for maintaining your garden throughout the summer.
1. Set (and stick to) a watering schedule.
Obviously, one of the most important aspects of maintaining your garden is ensuring that you are watering it appropriately. Particularly during the summer months, you want to make sure that you are smart about your watering schedule so that you don’t have to spend all of your free time watering the plants. Generally, it is recommended that you water your flower beds twice a week with plenty of water, rather than sprinkling them with less water, more often.
That being said, whenever you do choose to water them, make sure you are not doing it at night as this is prime time for the encouragement of fungus growth. Additionally, in the middle of the day, the soil is at its hottest, so it will absorb the water quicker, bequeathing less to the plants. Therefore, it is best always to water your plants in the morning and only in the evening if the plant truly needs it.
Remember that proper watering for your plant’s needs will significantly help maintain your plants’ health.
2. Protect your garden.
Once you have planted vegetables and flower seeds, then you are going to need to focus on protecting them – at least in the beginning. For them to truly thrive, ensure you are covering them with a shade cloth or leafy branches for one to two weeks so that they can settle themselves without becoming harmed.
Additionally, all gardeners (whether involved in landscaping in Binghamton, NY or in other parts of the world) need to know that mulching is essential for protecting your crops from the direct heat. It is best to think of mulch as the plant equivalent to sunscreen, as it shields and chills the roots. Strive to have at least a two-inch-deep layer of mulch in your garden throughout the summer.
Pulling weeds is another way to protect your garden as weeds steal essential moisture and nutrition from your crops, causing them to die. What’s more, weeds tend to grow and spread fast, which is why you have to get rid of them before they take over your entire garden.
3. Space your plants.
When you are sowing new seeds and adding new plants, you want to make sure that you are spacing them far enough apart from each other that they can successfully grow. Anything that is located too close to something else tends to have issues growing due to the contest for light, water, and nutrients. Unfortunately, having a lack of these things cause plants to be weak which, in turn, makes them more susceptible to attack.
To prevent this from happening, you want to make sure that there is enough airflow around each plant so that there isn’t too much humidity and so that foliage is able to dry more swiftly. Diseases can also develop and spread when an infected leaf reaches a healthy one, which is more likely to happen if they are close together.
Therefore, pay attention to where you are placing the plants and try to trim or remove crowded, damaged, or old stalks. You can also distribute or redistribute your plants as needed.
4. Take care of your vegetables.
If you are growing vegetables in your garden, it is essential that you know how to keep them productive throughout these hotter months. In fact, many vegetable plants can thrive during the summer, as long as you know what you are doing.
First and foremost, make sure that you are regularly harvesting the plants as this is the best way to keep them productive. It is best to harvest the vegetables early in the day as those that are collected at this time and brought inside promptly will remain fresh for a lot longer period than any that are harvested once the day has heated up.
Additionally, ensure that you continue to plant as certain crops (like radishes, arugula, and Chinese broccoli) can be planted regularly during this time, ensuring you have plenty of delicious vegetables on your dining room table. Moreover, you always want to be staying on top of your weeds; otherwise, you are bound to have issues in the future.
If you are using containers to hold your vegetables, then make sure you are watering them daily as the containers generally dry out quicker than the ground.
5. Say goodbye to pests.
Whether you have maintained a garden before or not, you probably are well aware that bugs tend to be plentiful in the warmer months. This is particularly challenging (some may say overwhelming) when you are trying to maintain your garden. Therefore, it is essential that you recognize which types of insects you have in your garden so that you can find the appropriate products to employ against them.
The best way to stop pests from overtaking your garden is to grow healthy, disease-free plants that are a more formidable target for bugs. Make sure to frequently examine leaves for damage, and remove any that seem diseased.
Luckily, there are many natural and sustainable ways to keep bugs out of your garden, so you no longer have to use chemical-based pesticides. For starters, there are plenty of aromatic herbs (such as yarrow, citronella, basil, mint, fennel) that work as natural deterrents. Alternatively, substances such as flour, salt, and beer are all severely toxic to insects and snails.
Are you an avid gardener? If so, what kind of crops and plants are you looking after this summer? Do you have any tips and tricks to share with the community about how to maintain the garden?
Alternatively, if you are currently struggling with your landscaping in Cortland, NY (or wherever you reside), what is the biggest challenge you are facing? Let us know your thoughts and any experiences you have in the comments below!