SUMMER is a lush time for plants and gets them into high gear – so feel prepared to take care of them.
Gardening experts have outlined the best ways to ensure you’re ready for the bounty season.
PLANT YOUR SUMMER ANNUAL PLANTS
Some annual plants need to be planted later, at the beginning of summer.
“Depending on your climate, that means planting them in April, May, or early June so they can weather any transplant shock before the heat is greatest,” said Dan Allen, co-founder of Farmscape, California’s largest urban farming company.
ORGANIZE AND SANITIZE YOUR TOOLS
Organic gardener Katie Burdett said organizing and sanitizing your tools ahead of time is the most efficient way to get things done.
Discussing the best way to clean your gardening tools, she explained, “Disinfecting your tools with a mild bleach solution will prepare your plants for a healthy season ahead.”
WASH YOUR GARDENING GLOVES
Make sure your gardening gloves are in tip-top shape so you can start tending your greens right away.
“Run them through the cold cycle in the washing machine and hang them to dry,” Burdett said.
USE COMPOST OR FRESH MULCH
Burdett recommended composting and mulching early in the season, before intrusive weeds take over.
She explained, “Fresh mulch can smother emerging weeds and breathe new life into your garden beds.”
GET RID OF WEEDS
Weeding your garden early in the season will make it easier later on.
“When weeds do show up, it’s best to catch them early — you don’t want them to bloom and become more work later,” Allen said. “Hula hooks and similar weeding tools are great, but if you want to remove weeds at the root, consider adding a hori hori garden knife to your garden shed if you don’t already have one.”
MAKE SURE YOU ARE PREPARED FOR HARVEST
Double check that you have all the items you will need as your plants begin to grow.
“If you’re an edible gardener who preserves the crop, stock up on canned supplies and consider using up last year’s canned food in the freezer to make room for this year’s bounty,” Burdett said.
CLEAN YOUR GARDEN BEDS
Remove the leaves from your garden beds and throw them in your compost heap.
According to Burdett, this will help you have compost ready to apply to the base of your plants as they grow and to create a supply for the rest of the season.
REPLACE YOUR HOSE
Water is essential to growing your summer garden.
“Warmer weather may require more hand-watering depending on rainfall,” Allen explained.
So make sure you have a hose or sprinkler handy to keep your summer garden thriving.
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