Home & Garden

Garden checklist: Summer puts extra stress on gardens

Asian vegetable - okra on the wood background
Asian vegetable - okra on the wood background Bigstock

It’s officially summer and crunch time for our gardens.

Due to four years of drought, our landscapes are facing extra challenges – especially as temperatures climb.

Keep an eye on soil moisture, particularly in your vegetable garden. Remember: Mulch retains moisture while also fighting weeds.

When irrigating, water in the morning, preferably before 8 a.m. That not only reduces evaporation (and saves water), but cuts down on the chance of fungal infections such as powdery mildew.

▪  It’s not too late to get a few more veggies in the ground. If you have the water and the room, plant seeds for lima beans, green beans, okra, parsnips, pumpkin, summer and winter squash and watermelon.

▪  Harvest vegetables promptly to encourage plants to produce more. Squash especially tends to grow rapidly in hot weather; keep an eye on the zucchini!

▪  In the flower garden, plant seeds for such summer and fall bloomers as alyssum, celosia, marigolds, periwinkles, sunflowers and zinnias.

▪  Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushy plants and more flowers in September.

▪  Cut back Shasta daisies after flowering to promote a second bloom in fall.

▪  Feed camellias, azaleas and other acid-loving plants. Make sure to water deeply before fertilizing.

Debbie Arrington