Summer Gardening Tips

Gardening Expert Melinda Myers

Summer has arrived and that means lots of fun activities and gardening opportunities to squeeze into this short season. Save time while creating beautiful results in your garden with these time saving techniques from gardening expert, author and TV host Melinda Myers.

Apply a one to two inch layer of organic mulch on the soil surrounding your plants to conserve moisture, reduce weeds, and improve the soil. You’ll spend less time and energy weeding, watering, and digging in the garden.

When watering plants, do so thoroughly and less frequently to encourage deeply rooted, more drought-tolerant and pest-resistant plants. Water early in the day to reduce water lost to evaporation. Also consider using drip irrigation to deliver water right to the plant roots where it is needed.

Check container gardens daily and water thoroughly as needed. Mulch these to help reduce watering needs. And be careful when fertilizing these and your annual flower and vegetable gardens. Use a low nitrogen slow release fertilizer, like Milorganite, if the plants appear to need a nutrient boost. The slow steady release of nutrients encourages growth without sacrificing flowers and fruit or burning drought-stressed plants.

Mow, fertilize, and improve the soil with one pass of your mower. Simply leave the clippings on the lawn. The short clippings quickly break down adding nutrients, moisture, and organic matter to the soil.

Mow the grass high so it can shade out nearby weeds and produce plenty of energy to keep the grass healthy. Taller lawns form deeper roots and are better able to tolerate hot dry weather. Minimize the stress by removing no more than a third of the total grass height each time you mow. You’ll spend less time and money on weed control and pest management.