Did you try your hand at a green thumb when we posted about gardening in March? If so, it’s time to evaluate the state of all your hard work!
Depending on where you live, this summer was a glorious time to take part in gardening. However, in some areas, it was also a brutal test of patience with the heat. Either way, there’s still time to pick up the pieces–or plants–and begin on a fresh note.
Here are some quick tips that may help you revitalize your flower gardens and keep those veggies in high production for the rest of the summer into fall.
A great place to start is deadheading, trimming and pruning your plants! This helps promote blooms and new growth that could be hiding underneath all the not-so-pretty stuff.
Deadheading is comparable to giving your hair a good trimming. Just snip or pinch off the dead flowers and you may be rewarded with a second round of blooms. At the least, you’ll encourage more flowers in the fall. Trim your herbs, too, so they can produce as long as possible.
Another trick is to be resourceful when it comes to your water. While hot, dry summer months may require more hydration, it is very easy to overwater and cause damage to your flowers and plants. Consequences of overwatering include weeds, disease and shallow rooting – not to mention higher water bills.
If weeds do begin to develop, yank them out while they are still young and the roots aren’t fully grown. Be sure to add a thick layer of mulch to keep the weeds at bay. Newspaper or cardboard is a great, low-cost way to do this!
Along with the fatal attack the two Ws can bring (water and weeds), pests can do the same. If there’s a particular vegetable in your garden that’s not doing so hot — say all the cucumbers are wilting or the kale has holes in it — the poor performance can be from an insect.
Encourage birds and beneficial insects to come to your garden and eat away the pests. For example, ladybugs, spiders, centipedes, ground beetles and dragonflies are great to keep around. And not to mention, bees for pollinating! Don’t shoo them away: welcome them.
If you follow these tips and find your garden flourishing yet again, you still have time to get even more vegetables in your garden for harvest come fall! Despite common perception, July is not too late to plant more vegetables and herbs. Many can be planted mid-summer. Review what can still be planted, depending on your zone!
If you already have these plants, or will come fall, garden-fresh vegetable recipes are a must these next few months! Here you will find 40 of the best.
Your green thumb is just beginning to sprout!