The dry, hot weather continues, so water wisely. Use mulch to help garden retain moisture, and give your plants about 1″ of water a week. Be sure to water early in the morning if possible to reduce evaporation. Watering at the soil line instead of over the leaves helps prevent fungal disease.
In fruit and vegetable gardens, we’re
- • cutting down and pulling out the last of the spring veggies, which are starting to bolt in the heat.
- • training beans, cukes, melons, and squash up their supports.
- • harvesting potatoes whose top growth has died back.
- • succession sowing beans, corn, carrots, edamame, and cucumbers.
- • pruning our tomatoes and training them up their supports.
- • mulching our kitchen gardens. We like straw, but hardwood mulch and even newspaper will also help conserve moisture and keep weeds down.
- • using our herbs to prevent them from flowering.
- • planting Halloween pumpkins.
- • watering, watering, watering. Anything we eat the fruits of–strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, melons, etc.–benefits from regular watering.
- • weeding.
- • turning the compost heap.
In other parts of the garden, we’re
- • watering. Did we mention the watering?
- • watering pots at least once a day. In this heat, you might need to water twice. To extend watering time, take a drinking water bottle, drill some holes in the sides, and bury it up to its neck in the pot. Water into the bottle instead of directly into the soil, and the bottle will release water as the soil needs it. Even with this trick, check your pots every day for water needs.
- • mulching. Use 2″ to 4″ of mulch, and be sure to keep mulch away from plant stems and trunks. Mulch the top of your pots, too!
- • shearing back spent perennials. Loads of bloomers are looking sad, including geranium, daylilies, salvia, catmint, and daisies. Cut them back to encourage fresh growth.
- • refilling birdbaths and watching for butterflies!
- • lawns may only need mowing every other week. If your lawn needs mowing, be sure to set your mower at 3″. Drought-stressed lawn has a hard time recovering from a too-short cut.