It’s been so hot this summer, that it’s been hard to get out in the garden. I don’t know about you, but my gardens are looking pretty neglected right now. Now that the weather has started to cool down a bit, it’s a great time to get out in the gardens and do some much needed maintenance.
Trim back overgrown perennials – Tidy up the garden by trimming back overgrown perennials. Spring and early summer perennials can grow weedy and begin to die back in the late summer, taking away from the beauty of the plants that are blooming now. Trimming back tired perennials will make the current bloomers stand out, making your gardens look even more beautiful.
|Late summer blooming perennials|
Deadhead spent flowers – Deadheading means cutting faded flowers off a plant.
|Deadhead plants to encourage more blooms|
Deadheading encourages the plant to produce more blooms because they don’t have to spend their energy producing seeds.
It keeps your plants blooming, and the garden looking tidy.
If you plan on collecting seeds, leave a few flower heads on the plant so they can develop seeds.
Weed prevention – The fall weeds will be setting seed soon. Save yourself some hard work by preventing weeds ahead of time. Now is a great time to refresh the mulch in the gardens, and add a thick layer to keep the weeds from growing.
Refresh summer pots – This has been a tough summer for potted plants. They are probably looking worn out by now, and in need of some TLC. Give your potted plants a boost by trimming them back, deadheading, and adding fertilizer. If they are beyond saving, refresh them with some frost hardy annuals for beautiful fall color.
Trim the tomatoes – Tomato plants can grow huge over the hot summer months. It’s good practice to trim them back for maximum tomato production. Cut off all the suckers, trim off leggy or weak growth, and remove any leaves that are burned or yellowing. Also, remove the leaves towards the bottom of the plant, especially the ones that are touching the ground.
|Trim tomatoes for maximum tomato production|
|Squash vines growing on a trellis|
Mind your vines – Vine vegetables like beans, cucumbers and squash can can become bullies in the late summer garden. Train and trim the vines to control the growth and keep them from growing on the surrounding plants.
Plant the second crops – Pull out the tired spring crops and plant the second crops. There’s still time to start some stuff from seed, like lettuce, spinach and other leafy crops. For other cold weather crops, check your local nursery for seedlings, many garden centers sell cold crop seedlings this time of year.
Turn the compost bin – Turning the compost bin makes the compost break down faster. Also, add any compost that’s ready to garden beds to replenish the nutrients.
This is a busy time of year, and most of our focus goes to harvesting and preserving the harvest. Taking some time to give your other garden areas some late summer TLC will keep everything looking as beautiful as it does in early summer.