Nurturing a garden is no small feat at the best of times. It takes considerable time, energy, and dedication to ensure that it looks as good as possible. When all that hard work is done, though, you’ve got yourself a marvelous showpiece that could potentially transform your outdoor space into the envy of the neighborhood. Not that you need an excuse — but lush flowers that liven up your yard are reason enough to put in the work this summer.
That’s the nature of the season, after all. Elevated temperatures and high humidity levels can harm even the most meticulously planted flowers. Over time and without regular care, they could lose their color, wilt as they grow dehydrated, and potentially fail completely. So you can understand why it’s worth it to put these helpful tips into play. Here are some ideas that can extend the life of your summer blooms so that your garden looks its best all season long.
All that heat can cause water to evaporate quickly, which is why you need to stay on top of this habit. That’s especially true in the middle of the day during peak sun hours. To protect your summer gardens as much as possible, water them early in the morning. That allows enough time for the moisture to feed the roots, which is precisely what they need to stay vital and healthy throughout the season.
The trick, however, is to avoid overwatering. Otherwise, you risk root rot or even insect infestations. As a rule of thumb, watering on top of the plant or at night can create an environment that is far too moist for the garden’s liking. That can encourage issues like disease and pests, so steer clear. Instead, water the roots deeply for anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes when experiencing periods of extreme heat or drought. The deeper you water, the stronger the roots. They won’t need watering as frequently at that point.
Summer days are longer, which means they take in more sunlight and naturally require even more nourishment than usual. A high-quality, organic fertilizer promotes colorful and vibrant blossoms throughout the season. The best varieties contain a blend of nitrogen, which stimulates stem and leaf growth, and potassium and phosphorus, which promote flower production and encourage roots to thrive.
While there are many different formulas available, your safest bet is one that contains equal amounts of each nutrient. Avoid applying something that contains more of one nutrient than another, as it could nurture one part of the plant more than the other and leave them less colorful than they could otherwise be.s, each vying for their share of the spotlight.
Your plants will look a lot better if you pay attention to their condition throughout the season and pinch away any flowers that start to fade. This technique, known as deadheading, will encourage your plants to flourish for the whole summer. It will also give your garden beds a neater and healthier appearance and allow your liveliest plants to continue producing blooms. You’ll also make the most of the growing season by adding this practice to your warm-weather routine.
Keep in mind that you don’t need to deadhead all types of flowers. It works best on annuals because those are the only plants whose spent blooms will attempt to reproduce seeds by generating more flowers. Otherwise, they’d simply fade away with the season. The entire purpose of an annual is to create seeds and die on an annual basis. By removing what’s lost its luster, you can keep that process alive throughout summer.
While every step is important, weeding is particularly essential to the long-term health of your summer blooms. These unwelcome growths otherwise compete with the plants you want for everything from moisture to nutrients. The more they rob from your plants, the less robust and healthy your flowers will look. Over time, as weeds proliferate, they can essentially take control of the garden.
Avoid this entirely by using a high-quality mulch at the beginning of the season. It serves a primary purpose of locking in moisture and preventing roots from getting too hot, but it can also stymie weed growth so that your beds remain as healthy as possible. Mulch can smother the weeds that are already there, too, making it doubly helpful in protecting your plants. You may need to pull up some errant weeds here and there, however. For best results, do so as soon as you see them so that they don’t have a chance to go to seed.
Unwelcome pests have a habit of robbing all the joy from your garden. They can cause black spots to form on the leaves. They can eat away at once-healthy petals. They can lead an unsightly white fuzz to develop at the roots. They can take away from the beauty of your hard work, making for a very challenging repair job at the same time. Some are especially common, including red spider mites, cabbage white butterflies, flea beetles, and aphids.
So what can be done? It all depends on the type of pest that’s to blame. Aphids, for example, love to cluster on new growths and can be unsightly at the very least. You can usually remove them simply by spraying them with water, but you can also use a drop of insecticide soap if you prefer. If you’ve got flea beetles, you can use sticky traps that attract them and prevent future damage. You can take some additional steps, too, like placing a bird feeder in relative proximity to your beds. Fill it with seeds from autumn through spring so that birds are more inclined to come back in the summer and take care of the insects for you.
Summer garden care can be as rewarding as watching the flowers bloom. You can take pride in knowing that all your efforts have paid off and that you’ve gained valuable experience creating a healthy and vibrant outdoor space.