As summer vacations and activities kick into high gear, it’s tempting to forget about garden upkeep and focus on fun and sun. But taking time out for a few simple tasks can reduce summer stresses for you and your plants. Follow these summer care tips to keep your landscape ready for relaxation, entertaining and enjoyment:
Shade gardens typically stay moist longer than sunny spots, but all plants dry out faster as temperatures rise and breezes warm. This is especially true for container plants. By practicing water-wise gardening and managing individual plant needs, you can head off drought and heat stress before they harm plants.
Weeds aren’t just unsightly, they also compete with landscape plants for water and nutrients. Left untended, they’ll flower, set seed and multiple your weedy troubles. In weed-free gardens, water and nutrients go where you intended. That means less labor and other inputs from you. For problems areas, consider low-maintenance groundcovers that can hold their own against weeds.
Take time to check mulch levels in your plantings; then smooth and top off garden mulch as needed. A layer of mulch prevents large fluctuations in soil temperatures, helps retain soil moisture, and suppresses offending weeds. A 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch is generally all you need.
Deadheading can promote more blooms on many flowering perennials, including daylilies, as well as summer-flowering shrubs. Remember to leave some flower heads intact, especially on native plants. The seed heads they’ll form fall and winter food for birds and other wildlife.
Wish you had a bit more color in a few garden spots this summer? There’s still time to pick up the slack with annuals, colorful perennials or shrubs with eye-catching foliage. Succulent, drought-resistant sedums are also a great way to add summer color and texture without much extra work for you.
Birds and pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, need a fresh water source in the gardens they call home – especially during hot summer months when puddles are scarce. Dump and clean birdbaths regularly to eliminate breeding spots for pesky mosquitoes and keep water clean and fresh for winged friends.
By taking time out for these simple tasks, you can make the most of summer and the abundance of flowers, fruits and fun it holds. Shop our plants online for last-minute additions or stop in for inspiration and advice at our retail garden center, Winterland Nursery. Thinking ahead to changes for fall or next spring? Start now and let McKay's Landscaping Services help you create the landscape of your dreams.