Is your garden summer ready?
Summer is typically a time to rest and relax.
When things slow down and life moves at a slower pace.
But if you're one of the many that started gardening during the pandemic, this is no time to take a break from the soil.
To keep your garden healthy and producing, it requires great care during the warm summer months.
It should be of no surprise that watering your garden is probably the most essential task, especially if you live in a dry climate.
Most garden plants need about an inch of water per week, so if it hasn't rained in a while, get out that garden hose and start spraying.
Apply the water at the base of the plant rather than the leaves, as wet foliage can lead to disease.
Adding mulch to your garden is also key.
A blanket of mulch will help shield your plants from the hot sun and keep its roots cool and healthy.
Aim for adding about 2 inches of mulch over your garden's soil.
You also want to weed your garden.
Pesky weeds steal much-needed water and nutrients from your plants.
They can also attract bugs and insects that harm your plants, and may even carry diseases.
And, don't forget to harvest your vegetables.
Picking off your ripe veggies helps to encourage your plants to continue producing.
It also helps limit pests in your garden, as they're particularly attracted to overripe produce.
If you want to grow fall vegetables, but haven't put anything new in the ground yet, your window of time is closing.
Most warm-season vegetables should go into the ground in late spring.
But late July and August is just fine for planting broccoli, spinach, beets, and many lettuces.
Plant them now and enjoy them when the temps cool.
So many folks have invested their time and dollars in building up their gardens over the last several months.
If you're one of them, don't let all that effort go to waste.
Take good care of your garden this summer and continue to enjoy the fruits of your labor in the months – and years – to come.