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Garden Tips For Summer

Trees and Shrubs

  • Prune dead, damaged, or diseased branches to prevent them from falling during summer storms.
  • Remove suckers
  • Prune spring flowering shrubs early in the month, then leave them alone to set buds for next year. Summer and fall flowering shrubs should not be pruned unless badly overgrown while nonblooming hedges can be trimmed as needed.
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  • Deadhead roses and other flowering shrubs so they will continue blooming.
  • Stop fertilizing trees and shrubs to allow them to reduce growth during the heat of summer.
  • Apply extra mulch around the roots of trees and shrubs to hold in moisture. 

 Perennials and Bulbs 

  • For fall blooms, shear back chrysanthemums and asters until mid month at the latest.
  • Give a light haircut to bushy or leggy perennials to encourage blooming.
  • Stop deadheading perennials if you want to collect seed pods from them.
  • Support vines and tall plants with trellises or stakes.
  • Cut flowers in the early morning when the stems are plump.

 Annuals and Containers

  • Water container plants daily (or even twice a day) this month.
  • Add a balanced fertilizer every couple of weeks.
  • Deadhead faded blossoms to increase blooming.
  • Pinch back leggy stems to encourage branching.

Cleanup and Maintenance

  • Attack poison ivy in your yard the moment you spot it!
  • Work outdoors in the cool of the morning and stay hydrated.
  • Add extra mulch to keep plant roots cool and moist.
  • Stay on top of weeds by first pulling any that are blooming, before they set seeds.
  • Refresh the water in fountains and birdbaths.
  • Clean and refill hummingbird feeders every few days.
  • Change suet bird feeders regularly, since it's more likely to go rancid in the heat.
  • Reduce fertilizing, and don't put fertilizer on dry soil. Use water-soluble fertilizers or compost instead of granules.
  • Make sure your lawn and garden receives an inch of water per week. Water deeply, at the root zone, and avoid spraying the foliage.
  • Use rain barrels to collect and reuse valuable rainwater for your lawn and garden.
  • Remove Japanese beetles and other pests when you see them.
  • Begin ordering bulbs and seeds for fall planting.
  • Provide a shallow pan of clean water for birds and butterflies.
  • Take cuttings of annuals, perennials, and herbs for rooting or drying indoors.

Vegetables and Herbs

  • Remove garlic scapes (flower heads) to encourage bulb growth.
  • Add compost or organic fertilizer to vegetable gardens.
  • Harvest veggies. Give away any produce you can't use, and remove plants that have finished producing.
  • Continue weeding, watering, and removing insects.
  • Give herbs a haircut, and use the cuttings.
  • For maximum flavor, harvest herbs just as the flower buds appear. Shear back annual herbs (such as basil) to encourage a second harvest.
  • Harvest berries before birds and squirrels eat them.
  • Remove and discard fallen fruits and vegetables.
  • Harvest corn when the tassels turn brown and the kernels are full and milky.
  • Harvest melons when they slip easily from the vine.
  • Give tomatoes extra water, and perhaps a little shade, when temperatures are over 90° F.