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August 9, 2021 - Maintaining your garden in the summer

We live in Zone 7, but in the summertime, it usually feels much hotter than that. The past few weeks, we have averaged temperatures somewhere between the mid 80's to the mid 90's. Add humidity on top of that and it feels HOT! And it's not just us that feel it, but the birds, mammals, and other wildlife are also feeling the burn. We have had fewer animals at our feeders and they only come out in the cooler mornings and evenings.

Having said this, it can make it more difficult to maintain and keep up your garden during these hot days. But here are a few tips that we have found to work for us.

Water more often

This really only pertains to the plants that are more thirsty, such as fruits and vegetables that tend to need a lot more water and nutrition. Our tomatoes, for example, need to be watered every couple of days. If they start getting droopy, add some water in the morning or evening time.

Quick watering tips:

  1. Thoroughly water your potted plants, especially when it's hot. You want to make sure the water goes all the way through to the bottom of the water and comes out.

    1. Important: If water goes immediately through to the bottom, let the water drain through, and then water again. This means the soil is super dry and didn't have enough time to saturate correctly.

    2. You can also put the pot in a dish or saucer so that it can have time to absorb through the bottom.

2. Plants in your yard can be watered less often since the ground can absorb far more water. However, keep an eye out to see if your plants start to become droopy or wilt.

Keep an eye out for plants being burned

When the sun gets really strong in the summer, especially in July and August, you'll want to make sure your plants aren't getting burned. Some plants can't handle the harsh sunlight, so you will need to make sure you can provide some shade during the noon to 3pm time of day.

Acers, ferns, hostas, and azaleas can get hurt by the sun, so you consider moving the plants. Or you can do our favorite and just add more plants to provide some shade! Elephant ears, plumeria, cannas, or potted fruit trees provide the perfect cover for your more delicate plants. A banana tree can add that special touch of something different and can match with many nontropical plants as far as looks go.

Feeding the correct amount and the right frequency

Feeding your plants throughout the summer is necessary for plant growth going into the autumn months. Be sure you follow the directions of your commercial fertilizer, or that you dilute your own comfry tea. Once a week is plenty and over fertilizing can burn your plants!

Weather report: Hot. It's summer.

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