The summer is here in its glorious warmth and beauty, and the garden is teeming with life! Keep things growing well and get the most out of your garden this season by following these care tips.
Now that the intense summer sun is beating down on your garden, try to avoid watering plants in the evening. As much as you are able, water your plants in the morning to reduce the risk of mould growth. Water at night only if you feel your plants desperately need the extra water.
If you have any plant with dying foliage, trim off the dying part of the plant for a healthier, stronger plant. Cutting back the dying foliage will help promote new growth. And don’t forget to keep an eye on the weeds! Weeds are opportunistic and will grow rapidly in the hot summer sun, robbing your plants of nutrients, so catch them before they grow too big!
Now that summer is here, you can start planting some of your fall vegetables like spinach, broccoli, and lettuce. It’s a great idea to add some fresh compost or aged manure to the area you are looking to replant to provide your new plants with additional nutrients. You can also re-plant beets, turnips, kale, carrots, and other vegetables that should be ready for the fall harvest.
There is nothing like having a few hens for your garden – not only do they eat all your bugs, they in return give you fresh organic eggs as a thank you. Plus their organic waste makes great manure for your garden next season. Great job ladies!
Your small new potatoes might also be ready for a mid-season harvest. You will want to gently move aside the mulch take out a few potatoes. Your plant will continue to produce potatoes until you are ready for a big harvest in the fall. Make sure you eat your potatoes right away – they are most delicious when they’re fresh and because of their thin skin they won’t last long!
A great way to keep your basil and other herbs producing and growing larger is to pinch off the top leaves and stems. This will make your plant grow bushy instead of tall and prevent flowering. You should harvest all of the top leaves and stems, and this will help your basil fill out nicely.
The way I like to store my fresh herbs is by putting them in a glass mason jar in the fridge with a couple of inches of water – this will keep them nice and fresh for a few extra days. You can also keep them in your freezer by putting them in an ice cube tray with a little bit of olive oil; when you need them they will be as fresh as the day you picked them!
Don’t forget to enjoy the nature all around you as you relax into the rhythms of garden maintenance! Watch for swallowtail butterflies that will enjoy laying their eggs on your dill, parsley and carrots. Keep an eye out for the butterflies that will flock to your milkweed in search of nectar, and enjoy the abundant life that your garden brings to your space this season!
“We may think we are nurturing our garden, but of course, it’s our garden that is really nurturing us”– Jenny Uglow