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It’s been so hot this summertime, that it’s been hard to go out in the garden. I don’t understand about you, but my gardens are looking pretty ignored right now. Now that the weather has actually started to cool off a bit, it’s a good time to get out in the gardens and do some much needed upkeep.

Trim overgrown perennials– Clean up the garden by trimming thick perennials. Spring and early summer perennials can grow weedy and start to die back in the late summer, eliminating from the appeal of the plants that are blooming now. Trimming exhausted perennials will make the existing bloomers stick out, making your gardens look even more beautiful.

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Deadhead spent flowers– Deadheading means cutting faded flowers off a plant.

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Deadheading encourages the plant to produce more blossoms since they do not need to invest their energy producing seeds.

It keeps your plants blooming, and the garden looking neat.

If you plan on gathering seeds, leave a few flower heads on the plant so they can establish seeds.

Weed avoidance– The fall weeds will be setting seed quickly. Conserve yourself some effort by avoiding weeds ahead of time. Now is a fun time to refresh the mulch in the gardens, and include a thick layer to keep the weeds from growing.

Refresh summer pots– This has been a difficult summer for potted plants. They are probably looking worn out by now, and in requirement of some TLC. Provide your potted plants an increase by trimming them back, deadheading, and including fertilizer. If they are beyond conserving, refresh them with some frost hardy annuals for stunning fall color.

Cut the tomatoes– Tomato plants can grow huge over the hot summer months. It’s excellent practice to trim them back for optimum tomato production. Cut off all the suckers, trim off leggy or weak development, and eliminate any leaves that are burned or yellowing. Also, get rid of the leaves towards the bottom of the plant, especially the ones that are touching the ground.

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Mind your vines– Vine veggies like beans, cucumbers and squash can become bullies in the late summertime garden. Train and trim the vines to manage the development and keep them from growing on the surrounding plants.

Plant the second crops– Take out the exhausted spring crops and plant the 2nd crops. There’s still time to start some stuff from seed, like lettuce, spinach and other leafy crops. For other cold weather crops, examine your local nursery for seedlings, numerous garden centers sell cold crop seedlings this time of year.

Turn the garden compost bin– Turning the garden compost bin makes the garden compost break down much faster. Likewise, add any compost that’s all set to garden beds to renew the nutrients.

This is a busy season, and the majority of our focus goes to harvesting and maintaining the harvest. Taking a while to give your other garden areas some late summertime TLC will keep whatever looking as beautiful as it does in early summertime.

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