8 Top Tips for a Summer-Ready Garden In 2021
It’s that time of the year again, with summer getting fully underway and when you need to start thinking about preparing your garden for the season ahead. It’s not uncommon for homeowners to neglect their gardens during the winter (it’s winter, after all) and perform no more than cursory spring cleanups (it’s spring, after all). But summer is usually when you’ll want to invest some time in your garden to keep it looking lush and create that designer outdoor space for hosting epic summer dos.
Here are a few tips to ensure your garden’s in top shape for the warmer months ahead.
1. Inspect Your Garden
Before you dive headlong into the bushes with your tools and gloves, take some time to get a sense of everything you need to be done. Look out for rodent and animal damage to your plants, as well as the presence of pests, animal burrows, and the like. Make a note of any flower beds, fences, and trellises that need to be repaired. Prioritizing everything on a list will help you get more done and avoid replicating work.
2. Ready Your Equipment
Equipment is everything. Spend some time cleaning and sharpening your tools, or even acquiring the right ones so that you’re all set to begin prepping your garden. Working with the right tools will help save you a ton of time, as you’ll discover when you get down to it. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to spend large sums buying everything from a tiller to other fancy gadgets. Make sure you have the essential hand garden tools and you’re good to go.
3. Weed Your Garden
Admittedly, this is not the most interesting job when it comes to gardening. However, it’s still very important if you want your flowers and vegetation to bloom as planned. The summer heat usually causes a massive proliferation of these pesky plants, and the bigger they get, the harder they are to pull out. Start weeding early in the season, while they’re still young and haven’t produced as many seeds. Use a bottle of weed killer to prevent them from reappearing. While you’re at it, also clear out dead foliage and pests and slugs.
4. Prepare the Soil
You’ll want to do this correctly. Analyze your soil with a soil test kit to see the nutrients it lacks. Consider starting a compost heap if you don’t have one. Getting your soil recipe right can be a very rewarding activity, especially if you want minimal hassle when tending to your plants later on. Spread a layer of mulch, two inches deep over your soil, once it’s prepped. This’ll help shield it from the sun and keep your plants cool.
5. Prune Your Shrubs
Trim your hedges and prune some of the summer growth from your plants to keep them looking neat and tidy. With pruning, there’s usually no “one-size-fits-all” approach. A little bit of research is advisable to see which plants need a little extra attention.
6. Plant Some Summer Favorites
Pull out the faded spring blooms and plant in some heat-loving annuals. Try out some succulents to add a little variety to your garden, especially if you’re in a dry or drought-prone area. These are plants with thickened stems or leaves that love the sun and don’t need excessive watering. Some Aloe, Crassula, or Euphorbia will make for great summer additions to your garden while adding a pop of color to the surroundings. Mixing in some Callas, lilies, and miniature roses will lend a pleasant scent to your garden.
7. Attract Fauna
Don’t be afraid to invite nature in all its glory into your garden. Some nectar-rich blooms like columbine, asters, and echinacea are great for attracting butterflies and hummingbirds in your garden. If you really like birds and the idea of waking up to the sound of chirping robins in the morning, consider adding a bird table and some bird seeds as well.
8. Stay on Top of It
Now that you’ve put in the effort, maintain your garden with regular work. Watch out for pests and diseases, your plants being particularly prone to those in midsummer. Water your plants adequately and mow the lawn to keep it looking pristine.
Summer gardening isn’t just fulfilling in that you’re creating something — it can be a very relaxing activity to power down in the afternoon, or even to start your day on a fresh note. A well-maintained garden can be a pleasant retreat from a stressful day or even your everyday workspace. If you don’t have a huge front lawn or backyard, an indoor garden is a great way to add some warmth to your interiors and make your home cozier.