Unfortunately, we can’t just do a little spring planting, fertilizing and weeding and expect to have a gorgeous yard and garden that lasts unattended all summer long. It requires a bit of ongoing maintenance, like it or not! But here are some easy and effective tips that will help you continue to enjoy your outdoor area to its fullest as the summer days pass (all too quickly, it seems).
Painful as it may seem to “deadhead” your flowers, doing so will ensure bigger, healthier blooms later on. “Deadheading” is the process of pinching the blossoms off of petunias, pansies, columbines and other flowers just shortly after the flowers have reached their peak. Plucking away the blossoms allows the plant to redirect energy and nutrients towards the flowers yet to come!
Similarly, it’s good to thin out clusters of sprouting seedlings for both flowers and vegetables. During the planting stages, we never know which seeds will germinate, and which will remain dormant. As often as not, too many seedlings will sprout in a single spot and then begin nudging each other for the available sunlight, water and nutrients. By plucking out some of them, this enables the remaining ones to grow bigger and producer sturdier blossoms, fruits and vegetables.
Remember while trimming larger plants like rose bushes and shrubs, it’s important to keep the blades clean and sharp to secure clean cuts. Otherwise, you risk harming vulnerable plants. Be sure to clean your tools after dealing with diseased plants, and keep the blades free of debris and sap.
Be judicious in your watering, not just to conserve the resource, but to apply moisture when it is most advantageous to your plants. Watering in the heat of the day or during a gusty afternoon is an exercise in pointlessness, as the water will quickly evaporate back into the atmosphere before it can soak in enough to do the plants much good. Water things in the very early morning hours or in the evenings, when the sun’s rays aren’t at full effectiveness. Collect rainwater from drain spouts, if you can. And keep in mind that plants aren’t quite as discriminating when it comes to water as you or your pets are. They can flourish just as well from leftover dish or bathwater or the contents of unfinished water bottles.
Make a habit of patrolling your property every week or so, checking for any signs of pests, damage caused by pets or sections of grass mysteriously turning brown. Move quickly to refill holes, re-seeding bare patches, or applying a grass repair kit.
Be mindful that if you’ve set up a kiddy pool, gazebo, tent awning or heavy lawn furniture, it’s a good idea to relocate these things periodically to allow the grass beneath them to breathe and receive much-needed sunlight.
And, of course, a warm August afternoon is the perfect time to curl up with a glass of tea or lemonade and a seed and bulb catalogue so that you can begin making plans for next year’s garden.
For assistance in keeping your yard, lawn and garden in excellent shape, or for other landscaping help, you can always call 866-FIX-MY-HOME or enter your zip code above in order to secure the services of Handyman Matters professionals who can tackle those outdoors tasks that are just a little too large for you to handle alone.