The official start to summer is just a few days away– and with that looms a climate that is great for your poolside barbecue, but not so great for your garden. With the proper precautions you can rest easy knowing your flowers and vegetables are well prepared for the summer season.
You don’t want to get started on the grunt work of gardening only to realize you have to stop in the middle because your shears are too rusted. The best laid plans are just that, planned! Not everything can go perfectly, but no one has ever regretted doing a little preparation. So, if you haven’t seen those garden tools since the leaves were brown, it’s time to show them some love.
Use a coarse metal brush to clean off any of that caked on dirt from last year. If it’s really sticking, go ahead and wet the tool a bit to dislodge it. If you do wet any of your tools, however, be sure to dry them off quickly– you don’t want to contribute to any more rusting.
Speaking of rust, after you get the dirt removed be sure to use some sandpaper to buff out any rust you can see. We know this may seem like a lot of work for tools you’re about to dirty any minute, but well groomed tools will do much of the heavy lifting!
Clean and Weed
If you haven’t done so already with your spring cleaning, it’s time to get that outdoor space free and clear from winter debris and weeds. From your lawn to your garden beds, it’s time to clean house! Collect any dead leaves, fallen branches and other expired or unwanted nature that accumulated over the winter season. This might mean any dead plants still lurking, as well as those pesky weeds. While you’re at it, give your lawn a healthy mowing and edging. This is the proper base you’ll need to put in the real work on your garden beds, later.
Like a lot of the foliage in your garden, this is something that needs routine maintenance to continue looking fabulous. One trick we like to use for an even trim across an entire bush is by crafting a guide. All you have to do is throw some stakes in the ground on either end of the shrub and tie a string in the middle. Make sure the string is taut, and you’ve now got yourself a simple guide to professional grade shrubbery.
Another thing to keep in mind when trimming your shrubs, is that the top should be more narrow than the base. This helps sunlight shine through and keep the bush from thinning out. This a great step to prep your garden for summer.
Enrich the soil
There are plenty of options out there when it comes to enriching your garden’s soil for summer, these are just a few of the many. A simple and free way to refresh your soil is to make sure it’s not compacted. If your soil doesn’t have proper ventilation neither will your roots. To prevent this, kick the dirt around with a garden fork. It’s almost as if you’re giving a good stir which allows air to flow through.
If you’re unsure of what methods to use for enriching your soil, try testing it. Soil testing kits are relatively inexpensive and will give you a strong foundation on which to start. If you know what types of plants you want to grow and what type of soil you have, you’ll be able to research the exact right care your garden needs.
While fall is considered the best time to transplant most plants, sometimes it’s move it or lose it! If you’re in need of some transplanting this summer, use the following tips and tricks to keep your transplant alive and well.
First things first, don’t do this on whim. Plants that are going to be moved need some warning and extra love in the lead up to this. Be sure to give them plenty of water the day before and immediately before digging it up. This is so that the roots aren’t dried out and prevents breakage.
When the day comes to do the actual moving of the plant, dig the new hole first. It should be a minimum of twice the size of the root’s bulb and have plenty of moisture. By plenty of moisture we mean all the moisture, as much as it can absorb.
Now comes the time to place the transplant in its new home. Once it’s in, fill the hole about halfway with water, let it settle, and then fill in the rest of the soil.
You’re now done with the initial transplant, but the real testament to your plants longevity is how you care for it in the coming days. Keep a close eye on it and care for it accordingly.
Now this is the good stuff, this is what you’ve been waiting for! Whether you’re planting beautiful flowers or a plentiful vegetable garden, you’ve done all the work you need to get them in the soil. This is the step to prep your garden you don’t want to miss. Give them extra love and care all summer long– just like us, the hotter it is the thirstier they are.
Laying mulch to prep your garden bed is what will protect the soil and keep those weeds from sprouting up again. Not only this but it adds curb appeal to your home. Check with your local public works department to see if they offer free mulch. Many towns offer mulch consisting of the leaves and brush residents put curbside throughout the year. This may not be as pretty as the dyed mulch you can buy at the store, but it sure is inexpensive!
Your garden is looking its best, now is the time to get the rest of your home’s exterior to match. Pressure washing the siding of your home not only keeps it looking fresh, but it will help it last longer too. You should pressure wash your siding, walkways and driveway at least once a year.
We hope you learned a bit about how to prep your garden for summer! Share your results with @CastleWindows on instagram.