Summer Gardening Tips for your home garden.

Summer Gardening Tips

Maintaining your lawn and flower gardens during the hot summer months is an essential part of being a home resident.  Invitation Homes’ residents have great outdoor spaces in neighborhoods and communities where families spend much of their summer days and evenings outside.  While the climate of where you live is a major factor, here are a few good tips to follow to keep your grass green and flowers blooming so the colors in your yard stay vibrant all summer long.

Pruning

Pruning dead flowers (also called deadheading) is a great way to promote more blooms.  Perennials will produce more than one bloom after deadheading, and annuals that don’t bloom all season should also have the dead blooms removed.  A trick to revive your wilting annuals is to cut them back 4 to 6 inches to encourage new growth that’s compact, fresh and green.

Mulching and Soil

Many gardeners say that the trick to gardening is the quality of your soil.  However, since home residents inherit the soil that’s already there, gardeners recommend adding organic-based fertilizer to your potting soil every several weeks as nutrients are lost every time you water. The fertilizer will add nutrients to what the existing soil is lacking.

It isn’t too late to mulch even if you live in hotter climates! If your mulch is less than several inches in your garden beds, adding more mulch will help conserve water and reduce weeds. Weeds steal water and nutrients from your soil, so it’s important to keep them away, and mulch will help with this.

Placement of Potted Plants

Read the instructions that came with the plant and place it accordingly. Some plants are great in full sunlight, others need some shade.  Look at the sun exposure of your patio, deck, backyard, front porch, or side yard and move your plants so that they’ll get the proper amount of sunlight.  Also, in terms of high outdoor temperatures, potted plants can be quick to overheat, particularly those in terracotta pots.  Lightly mulch and place them out of all-day sunlight.

Grass

Brown, bare, weed-infested lawns are symptoms of cutting lawns too low.  Lawn professionals say that it’s a misconception that cutting lawns low reduces the cutting frequency. Instead, mow lawns as high as your mower permits in the hot summer months, and cut it a quarter- to half-inch shorter in the cooler months (spring and fall). Longer turf wears better and discourages fungus or crabgrass from growing.

Watering

You always want to water during the early morning and early afternoon to give plants time to dry.  Water the soil not the leaves as wet foliage can lead to mold, mildew, and sick plants.  With potted plants, don’t let them stand in saucers of water because this too will lead to rotting and mosquito breeding. Using saucers filled with sand can help roots stay cool and ensure healthy plants.

For an easy trick to see if your plants are thirsty, stick your finger in the soil to the middle joint. If it’s wet or damp, don’t water. And, if the leaves turn yellow that means too much water.

Climate matters so if you live in a very hot and humid place, you will need to water more than a cooler, milder climate.  In the full summer sun, container plants may need to be watered twice a day. If it’s hard to find the time, move them to a protected area.

And sometimes it’s just not possible to do everything you want to maintain your lawn and garden. If you’re short of time but like your garden to look cared for, some fresh mulch, a few strategically placed flowering plants and a freshly edged lawn will give your garden a lift and your curb appeal.

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