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5 Summer Gardening Tips
Water-saving summer garden tips
Water your lawn at dawn or sunset. Morning is better if lawn fungus is a problem in your area, but otherwise evening is best. Daytime watering lets water evaporate before plants can soak it up. If you’re busy first thing in the morning, set a timer to water for you, and use a multi-head sprinkler system to save time as well as water.
Use native plants, if you like them. Native plants are adapted to your local conditions, so they’re more likely to thrive. Also, they attract birds and butterflies to your garden. Be sure to enrich the soil before you plant by digging in plenty of compost, and water it as needed in the first year. After that, your natives should almost take care of themselves.
Drip irrigation in your vegetable garden will really save water, by watering right at the plants’ roots. It also keeps your produce dry, which discourages pests and diseases. A surface drip system is easy to install, and you can even automate it with an irrigation timer.
Flower garden tips for abundant bloom
Pruning makes your landscaping look more lush and full, while it encourages healthy growth. Pruning is an easy skill to learn, and if you make a mistake, it grows out, just like a haircut. You need lightweight pruners to clip hedges and shrubs back into line and long-handled loppers for vines and thick branches.
If you like a natural look, just deadhead your rose plants, removing the spent blooms and cutting back to a stem with five leaves. You’ll get far more flowers this way. Be sure to clean up the debris around the plants, too, to avoid fungus.
Prune your spring blooming perennials like lilacs, azaleas and rhododendrons as soon as they go out of bloom. It encourages healthy new growth so you’ll get more flowers next year.
Mulch also makes your garden look good. It shades out weeds, so you spend less time on your knees. It also keeps more moisture in cooler soil. Let the soil warm up before you mulch, though. And never spread mulch right up to a seedling, because mulch that touches new sprouts can encourage damping-off disease, a fungal infection that thrives in moist conditions and kills tiny seedlings just as they emerge from the ground.
Mulching adds an attractive texture to your flower beds. Choose a fragrant cedar mulch, or pick up a red-brown mulch that actually makes plants look greener. Mulch degrades slowly, adding valuable organic material to the soil while it tidies up the look of your flowerbeds.