Ahhh. Finally. The warm (sometimes hot), balmy (sometimes sweltering) months of summer. Time to get serious about that garden!
A good starting point is being prepared for pest control, because it's always better to be pro-active than to play "catch-up" with garden pests. So test your memory here: what pests were most invasive in your garden last year? Remember them - and stay on alert this summer, because they may well make a return visit.
Now on to other garden work to be done in JUNE, arguably the loveliest month of the year, and the month most gardeners get their vegetable plants in the ground and their flower beds, pots and boxes arranged and planted. Some tips for success:
- water immediately after transplanting to remove air pockets that dry out tender roots.
- spray with Hot Pepper Wax animal or insect repellent to take advantage of its anti-transpirant properties. (It will reduce moisture loss in new transplants while the roots re-establish themselves in their new location.)
- at planting time, use a slow-release complete fertilizer labeled for vegetables and flowers and follow label directions.
- mulch in-ground plants as soon as possible after planting. (Mulching after a good rain will conserve moisture. It will also reduce time spent watering and weeding for the rest of the summer. (Plus, mulched plants grow bigger!)
- place stakes or wire supports near those plants that will need support. It will save you time later.
In JULY you will see the benefits of the slow-release fertilizer you applied in June. What? You FORGOT? Oops. Then you need to start now with weekly fertilization for your veggie plants and flowers.
Speaking of flowers: time to deadhead. Your flowers will bloom in appreciation.
While you're doing the close-up work of deadheading, check for insect and disease problems - they're easier to manage if you catch them early. Hot Pepper Wax insect repellent will keep soft-bodied insects in check so your plants can thrive.
And we've come to AUGUST, the month of bounty from the garden. If you haven't already, it's time to spray with Hot Pepper Wax animal repellent, because you aren't the only living creature who's anxious to sample your garden. Be especially vigilant about keeping new growth protected.
August is often a dry month, and if that's the case in your area, be sure to water regularly to support plant growth. And don't give up on weeding; if you remove weeds before they have a chance to go to seed, you'll have fewer weeds next year.
You and your garden have come too far to mess up now!