Summer

June

  • Weed, Weed, Weed. Weeds are a chronic problem every gardener knows well. Like a lot of things, it won’t be a huge job if you keep up with it. Your flowers will breathe easier and so will you. Mulch is your best friend for weed suppression as well as moisture retention.
  • Slug Watch. Look for small holes in the leaves of your plants as well as slime trails. Put on a pair of disposable latex gloves and go out in the evening with a container of salt water and hand pick. Every day there will be fewer and fewer. Only takes a few minutes each evening and saves your beer for drinking, not trapping slugs. Slug bait is an alternative if touching slimy slugs, even with gloves, turns your stomach.
  • If you missed spring to divide daylilies, no problem. These tough, forgiving perennials can still be lifted and divided into halves or quarters. Put one section back in the ground and transplant or give them to friends or the Secrest Garden Fair plant sale June 8th. Daylilies will bloom better when divided every few years.

JulyPeony flower

  • Don’t forget to pick a beautiful bouquet of flowers to take indoors to enjoy. Try floating a single blossom in a bowl of water. Flower blossoms really stand out when isolated from the competition. Try curling your fingers against the side of your thumb to make a view finder with your hand. Hold your hand up to your eye and go around to focus on your garden. It’s surprising to see the details you’ve been missing.
  • Before your daffodil and tulip foliage disappear, mark the spot so you won’t be planting later and digging up the bulbs. Also, place markers where you want to plant more bulbs this fall.
  • Add some interest to your garden by adding a piece of structure to serve as a focal point. Try a piece of fencing, a large rock, stone wall, birdbath, gazing ball or statuary. Keep it simple or you’ll be competing not enhancing.

August

  • Share your vegetable garden harvest with appreciative friends and neighbors and local food donation centers.
  • Water, Water, Water. Keep up with continuous watering during the summer, especially during dry spells. Mornings are best. Hanging baskets and containers are water hogs. Plants new to your garden need extra water attention to form roots and get established. Mulch helps.
  • Deadheading. Another persistent job for the dedicated garden. Removing spent blossoms not only makes your plants tidier, but directs the plant’s energy into producing more flowers, not seeds.

--Sue Cook, Master Gardener Volunteer