Best Summer Garden Tips!
While we have had some mild temps early this summer, we can expect most of these dog days of July and August to heat up beyond the 80s – and that’s good for our gardens. But to keep your garden healthy and yielding blooms and produce all summer long, here are some tips to make sure it not only survives but thrives in the heat!
Good Morning Garden!
If you’re not a morning person you’ll have to become one for your garden because that’s the best time of day to water your plants. Lots of the occupants of your garden will wilt under a hot sun, even if the soil is moist. Check them FIRST thing in the morning when it’s cooler and if they’re limp, water deeply. That will encourage the roots to grow deeper, away from the hot soil on the surface. Watch your garden for a signal plant – the first one to wilt when the soil dries out — then you’ll know when to water. If you have a cucumber or squash in the bunch, they’re usually the first to wilt on a hot sunny day but if healthy, will recover when the sun goes down.
Keep a close watch on your containers, too. They need more frequent watering – maybe more than once a day if the temps creep into the mid-90s. For great tips on how to water everything from your lawn and flowers to trees, shrubs and produce visit Month-to-Month Gardening Colorado.
Weeds Be Gone!
There’s a reason the saying “growing like a weed” is a popular metaphor to describe anything that grows lickety-split. For veteran gardeners, the battle with weeds is a near-constant one as weeds seem to be made of hardy stuff and compete with our plants for water! So, while you’re enjoying the meditative practice of morning watering, check for usurpers and get ‘em outta there!
With our high-altitude atmosphere, it’s important to mulch around your plants with grass cuttings or shredded leaves to keep the soil cooler and prevent it from drying out so fast in the hot summer sun. Keep the mulch loose, because if you lay it on too thick or let it compact, that prevents the water from reaching the soil underneath. Feeding with something like the LiquaFeed® Universal Feeder from Miracle-Gro, which attaches directly to your hose and automatically delivers the right amount of nutrients is a great practice, too. You can pick one up at the Home Depot on Allen Street in Castle Rock.
Fast Facts from the Masters
Ripe produce demands a LOT of water, especially in hot weather. So to reduce the stress on plants, harvest your produce as soon as it’s ripe. And this may go without saying, but remove any damaged veggies, too. It’s not like they are going to recover, and they’re draining water away from the mother plant.
For a great overview on growing produce in our short Colorado growing season, check out Our Paleo Life for tips about when, what and how to start and harvest a successful garden. And the Denver Post published tips for gardeners who might be new to Colorado a few months ago on everything from Colorado soil types and necessary amendments to which native plants to pick. Just look for the inside scoop from a veteran Denver-metro gardener.
If you have specific questions about your garden, consult the experts at Arbor Valley Nursery in Franktown. They are passionate about getting their hands dirty and helping neighbors grow great gardens!
The Gratifying Gardens of Crystal Valley
It takes a green thumb and passion for growing to master the art of gardening in Colorado – but homeowners in Crystal Valley know how and show how in their Castle Rock backyards. Looking for a place to call home that’s surrounded by nature yet close to everything you need? Explore the beautiful models from Richmond American Homes, Kauffman Homes, Century Communities and D.R. Horton – ranch and two-story designs, priced from the $300s.