Helpful gardening tips for the summer season (especially for zone 8) plus photographs of pretty flowers.
Happy Summer! The official first day was yesterday (June 20th). The heat arrived early here in the south. It has been in the 80’s for the better part of the last few months. This week temperatures will go into the 90’s. Plants and flowers do need some care to thrive in the long, hot days of the season. Hopefully you did proper spring preparation and your plants have a good start.
Summer gardening includes maintenance. Most plantings are done in spring after the last frost. What is important is to keep the plants healthy and strong. Here are some tips and to-do’s for summer:
- Check plants for pests and disease and treat accordingly.
- Pull or kill weeds (see article on Rubbing Out Weeds on how to apply weed killer when you cannot spray it).
- Add mulch around trees, shrubs, and perennials to conserve moisture, control temperature variations, and reduce weeds.
- Fertilize roses with a slow-release fertilizer (10-10-10) after the first bloom.
- Cut back garden mums to 8 inches tall between July 1st and 15th to encourage bushier growth and more blooms.
- Monitor plants in containers daily for watering needs.
- Raise your mower height by one notch to help your lawn withstand the dry weather. Keep your lawn mower blade sharp.
- Deadhead flowers (remove spent blooms) and pinch back leggy foliage from annuals and perennials.
- Trees and shrubs generally require 1 inch of water each week. If it has not rained, water accordingly.
- Fertilize outdoor container plants. Frequent watering washes nutrients from the soil.
I do enjoy pretty flowers. I have many varieties around the house. Some are in the flower beds and others in containers. Each day I go out and see what is blooming. I take a lot of photos for my Project 365. I am sharing a few I captured in recent weeks. Above is a Black-eyed Susan growing right outside my fence in my neighbor’s yard. This is a white hydrangea (Sister Theresa) that was an early bloomer:
This bright pink Nicotania really stands out:
The vibrant green seedum with yellow flowers glows in a spot in my front yard:
Pretty daisies stand tall in beside my garage:
Next to the daisies are these lovely blue asters:
My deck has some interest with this corkscrew rush:
A shady area in the front is filled with hostas:
Another one on my deck is agapanthus:
And throughout the sunny side of my front flower bed is ice plant:
Did you notice a couple of the pics had photo-bombing bugs? I guess even insects like to get their picture taken. It happens quite often. It is crazy and funny too.
What is your favorite summer flower? Do you have it growing in your garden? If not, give it a try. Digging in the dirt can be quite fun. Happy Gardening!