Don’t Throw in the Trowel Just Yet! Your Garden Still Needs You
The excitement of planning and preparing your garden and planting your favourite perennials has passed. And, while over the past few months you’ve enjoyed the fruits of your labour in your outdoor oasis, the summer heat is taking its toll. But don’t give up just yet! Keep your garden looking its best with a few August chores.
Anything green is vulnerable to drought, especially when paired with the heat of an August sun. Be sure to water slowly and deeply, preferably in the early morning or evening when the sun is unable to burn away your efforts before it can soak through to the roots of the plant. Use a soaker hose a couple days a week for 30 minutes for the best results.
Harvest Fall Crops
Iconic summer veggies, like beans, corn, cucumbers, melons, okra, tomatoes, and summer squash taste great when harvested in August. Of course, if you live in the warmer parts of the country (zone 6), you may want to consider planting a second crop for a fall harvest. Keep in mind, colder provinces (those in zone 5) are limited to planting more hardy vegetables, like kale and chard this time of year.
Weeds are not just unsightly, they also steal moisture, nutrients and sunlight from your plants. Try to weed flower beds and around trees once a week and top up with mulch where needed.
Beware of Pests
Not all garden insects are destructive. The key is to know which ones are and which ones aren’t. The Japanese Beetle thrives in hot sunny summer weather and eats the leaves of plants. Handpick these critters off foliage in the morning and again late day and drown in a container of soapy water. Aphids are another pest you don’t want to find. Know what’s in your garden and fight accordingly.
Pruning with Care
Even mid-summer, some housekeeping is necessary for plants to keep their shape and continue to bloom. Prune soft evergreens like cedars, boxwood and yews with a sharp, clean pair of shears. You should also deadhead flowering shrubs and bushes, like roses, so they can focus on budding and flowering new roses, rather than spending energy on dying buds. Deadhead until the bush starts to harden for the winter. Review guidelines for the bushes in your garden for optimal results.
Photo by Crystal Jo on Unsplash