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Keep Your Garden Looking Great All Summer
The fruits of summer gardening labor are bright blooming flowers, lush lawns and gardens teeming with succulent vegetables. Keep your gardens healthy and looking great all summer by following a few simple gardening tips.
Keep garden tools handy
You don’t want to have to hunt for your gardening gloves or pruning shears every time you step into the yard. Keep a sturdy pair of leather gloves like the Westchester suede gloves, ideal when pulling weeds or for keeping your hands blister-free when raking mulch. Along with your gloves, a pair of pruning shears will come in handy for deadheading blooms. Consider the Craftsman Evolv™ floral bypass pruning shears.
Deadheading is nothing more than removing the spent blooms from your flowering plants. You can deadhead using a pair of pruning shears or garden scissors, or by simply pinching the bloom off with your fingers. Deadheading is a must for summer gardening—as soon as the blooms start to wither, turn brown, curl or begin to appear dead, it’s time to remove them. Your plants will look healthier, and some varieties will form new blooms after the spent blooms are removed.
Weeds are not only unattractive, they also deprive your plants by stealing essential nutrients and water from the soil. Taller weeds keep plants from receiving the sunlight needed for health and growth. Some weeds are aggressive and can overtake a flowerbed or the rows in your vegetable garden.
Summer garden ideas for weed control include eliminating weeds early, thereby keeping the weeds from establishing a strong root system. Adding a layer of mulch to your garden also can help keep weeds from flourishing.
Consider a product such as Concern Weed Prevention Plus for gardens. Use it to control dandelions, crabgrass and more. It can be used in flowerbeds, vegetable gardens and landscaped areas containing plants, shrubs and ornamental grasses—it will not burn your plants and is made from 100-percent granulated corn gluten meal.
Aphids often infest vegetable gardens, attacking zucchini, squash, pumpkins, gourds, cabbages and more. According to the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources, it’s important to catch aphid infestations early.
A strong spray of water can remove aphids from plants. You also can spray the infested plants with an insecticidal soap. However, master gardener Paul James from Gardening by the Yard suggests wrapping a wide strip of tape around your hand with the sticky side facing outward. Pat the tap on the undersides of the infested leaves to remove the aphids. This may be a bit more time-consuming than spraying the plants with water, but is an effective alternative if your area is under water-usage restrictions.