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Gardening Tips for Late Summer

August 4th, 2016

Here are some simple gardening tips for late summer to keep your landscape looking great. Our gardens take summer vacations in a manner of speaking.  When temperatures exceed 90 degrees and the days begin to shorten after summer solstice, and rain is only an occasional afternoon shower, plants take a break.  Growth stops, flowering slows or stops and pollen dries quickly for fruit to set on the garden vegetables.  Plants go into a heat or drought dormancy.  Think of it as a summer break rather than a loss.

When the garden goes on vacation here are some essential gardening tips to keep in mind:

1. Don't overwater. If the plant is not actively growing, overwatering will cause roots to rot and fungus is grow.

2. Don't over fertilize.  The plants can't take up the fertilizer if they are on break.

3. Don't expect full bloom in the garden in high summer unless you have only tropical plants.

4. Give your potted plants a bit of shade, if possible.  Thin pots can heat the root zone to over 100 degrees.

5. Enjoy the shade of a big oak tree.  If you don't have one, make a note to plant one this winter.

It is all too easy to err on the side of over caring for your garden instead of the right measure of care.  We forget that plants have been around for many thousands of years and have survived and thrived through all manner of weather and soil conditions. Many plants are surprisingly resilient and the best care you can provide is less than you imagined.

Gardening tips for late summer may seem counter intuitive yet, in my experience, they have proved to keep my own garden and those of my clients thriving for many years.  This is a case where less really is more when more (too much water and too much fertilizer) would challenge the health of your lawn, shrubs, and flowers.

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