\Things are heating up in the garden, friends. Plants will require slightly different care in the hotter months, and so will you! You might be feeling less motivated to get out there and maintain your garden. As we wrap up our spring webinar series, read on for tips on reigniting the magic of gardening while being safe in the sun.
Beat the Heat
Gardeners – Get out there early in the morning or later in the evening when it’s cool. Garden slow, or consider saving longer sessions for cooler days. The right clothing can make all the difference when you’re trying to keep cool. A linen shirt is ideal for breathability. Hats and UV rated sunglasses are essential. Make sure you’re staying hydrated. We know it can be hard to remember water when you’re in the thick of a big yard project, but make sure you’re taking sips here and there. Dehydration can creep up on you and enter dangerous levels quickly. Most importantly, wear that SPF and protect your skin.
Plants – If you can’t move your plants, consider a shade cloth propped up on stakes for a little protection against the sun. Mulch the roots (couple inches) to retain moisture. And water, water, water.
Garden in smaller batches over multiple days and focus on your priorities. Water and fertilizer will always take precedent over weeding and pruning. Save energy by doing multiple jobs at one time. While you’re weeding, why not deadhead? You’re there anyway, right? How can you cut down multiple trips to the garden shed? Can your family help out? Teamwork makes the dreamwork. The more you simplify your garden tasks, the more energy you’ll conserve.
How busy is your summer? I know it can be hard to squeeze in some gardening while we’re out enjoying patio’s, camping trips, and softball games. You may need to check in with your household to actually schedule some gardening time. Make sure to catch up in the garden before going on vacation. This is especially important if you have someone ‘garden sitting’ while you’re away. Make sure your weeding and deadheading is caught up, and all your tools, fertilizer, and water sources are accessible.
After putting in the work, remember to enjoy. Remember the reasons you started a garden and plan some fun. You can still plant something new. You can divide perennials and either gift them to friends or move them to another spot. You can host a garden party. You can even install a whole new garden bed, decor, or patio set. The season is just getting started!
You’re flowers may be getting tired around this time of year. You can bring them back to life by deadheading finished blooms and removing the seed pod on annual flowers and perennial flowers. Make sure not to deadhead veggie flowers though. Continue your fertilizer program to ensure healthy growth. Continue to water, especially on hot days. Plants look their best after the rain, right? Water is super important. You can also try moving annual pots around. maybe you thought your Dahlia would love to live next to your front door in full sun… but then the leaves started to crisp (toooooottally didn’t happen to me). Try moving it to a less intense spot! You’ll be surprised how resilient annuals can be.
Bugs & Weeds
You garden will never be immune from these two challenges. The faster you act, the easier things will get though.
Bugs – Observe and identify any threats to your garden. Chat with an expert at your local garden centre for your options as it’ll depend on the plant you’re treating. If you’re choosing chemicals, then the product for your flowers may different than with your veggies. You may also choose to go the predator bug route! There are preventative bugs which can assist in control bad bugs before they become an issue. There are also control bugs which feed solely on bugs and will either die off or move on in search of more food.
- Learn more about predator bugs on our website: www.goldenacre.ca/bioline
Weeds – a weed is an unwanted plant. While there are invasive weeds, that we should do our best of control…there are also weeds that we can choose to eliminate. Decide what’s best for your garden. If you like dandelions and clover in your lawn, great! If you would prefer no weeds at all, that’s great too! A note about weeds though. If you keep a healthy garden and provide for birds and good bugs (like honey bees), then you’ll get less weeds. Birds chow down on seed, right? So any weeds that go to see will likely get chomped on by your backyard bird friends 🙂
You cannot skip this garden chore. Water slowly and deep. Consider watering early in the morning when it’s cooler. Like, before 7am. Soaker hoses are your best friend, and a great tool if you want to just turn on the tap and walk away for half an hour to complete other chores. If you mulch your garden, then you won’t need to water as often with how much water retention you get out of it! When it comes to your planters, keep an eye on them. They’ll need more water during a heat wave, and may need to be moved during periods of long rain. Observe and react as you go.
Water scorch is a garden myth! We talked about this in the webinar, but water on the leaves has been proven not to scorch leaves. In fact, watering the leaves can help cool and clean the plants! We do this in the greenhouse often!
- Soaker Hose | SHOP NOW
It’s not to late to start a fertilizer program. Fertilzer isn’t essential, but a good idea to promote health in your garden. Just make sure to follow manufacturers recommendations. Over fertilizing will do more harm than good especially in your root system. If you’re not sure how to tackle the fertilizer wall at your local garden centre, listen to the ‘Fertilizer: How to buy it, use it, and store it’ episode fo the Helpful Gardeners Podcast. Colin and I break it all down into easy steps.
Colin always says that if he had to choose between fertilizing and improving soil health, he’s choose the amendment route every time. Healthy soils keep moisture better, allow better gas exchange for the roots, and aid in the release of nutrients. You can absolutely add ammendments throughout the season, but just make sure to observe your soil and add what’s needed. While you’re amending your soil, break up soil tension, but be careful around existing perennials. Also take this opportunity to pick out any weeds by hand or tool.
- Compost | Mix of decayed & broken down matter readily made for plants. It’s heavy, so mostly for the garden bed, not raised planters.
- Sea Soil Original | Learn More
- Coconut Coir | Shredded coconut husks. Improves soil texture. Aids in water retention and root development. Good for beds and planters.
- Coconut Coir – Natural, pellets, kits | Learn More
- Manure | Composted animal waste used to improve soil structure, aeration, water retention, and nutrients for plant development. Good for beds.
- Green Harvest Steer Manure | Learn More
- Peat Moss | Fibrous material from decaying mosses. Helps with water retention and aeration. Good for beds and planters.
- Pro Moss Sphagnum Peat Moss | Learn more
- Worm Castings | Highly active worm waste. Anchors nutrients, feeds plants, adds beneficial micro-organisms, and improves aeration. Great for beds and planters.
- Annelida Worm Castings | Learn More
- Volcanic Rock Mineral | remineralizes soil and adds micro-nutrients. Great for beds and planters.
- CanAmaze Volcanic Rock | Learn More
- Perlite | Water retaining volcanic glass. Helps root development, aeration, drainage, and texture. Great for beds and planters.
- Pots & Plants Perlite | Learn More
- Vermiculite | Aerate soil and retaining water and nutrients. Great for beds and planters.
- Pots & Plants Vermiculite | Learn More
- Bio-char | Organic material that helps neutralize acidity, improve water and nutrient retention. Encourages beneficial soil microbes, bacteria, and nematodes. Great for beds and planters.
- Annelida Biochar | Learn More
- Gypsum | Breaks up heavy clay in your soil. Great for beds.
- Gaia Green Agricultural Gypsum | Learn More
Grow Your Own Way
Garden for you and remember to celebrate all the small moments of success. Host a garden party or BBQ. Add a hammock or patio. Use social media to share and inspire others. Ask for help if you fun in any challenges. There are communities and local garden centres all around North America that would love to help. Celebrate silly days like World Naked Gardening Day! Most of all…. JUST HAVE FUN!
If you are late to the game, there’s still time to plant annuals, perennials, trees, and shrubs. If you’re experiencing garden burnout, it’s okay to take a break or slowdown.
I’m just going to include Colin’s slide for this portion because he truly says it best >>>
Best of luck on your gardening adventures.
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More Detailed PowerPoint Presentation | GA Webinars – Long Haul Gardening
Encore Video Presentation | Coming soon
The Helpful Gardeners Podcast | Learn more