Garden Ideas - Plant a smart garden this summer

Plant a smart garden and reap the benefits

A beautiful summer garden does not necessarily mean higher water bills

Plant heat-loving vegetables:

Ok so we might not be getting the bumper summer we all hoped for. But just in case, think about choosing vegetables that do better in summer warmth. These include corn, cucumbers, green beans, peppers, pumpkin, melons, summer squash and zucchini. Once established, some plant leaves may wilt during the hottest portions of the day, but will bounce back when temperatures cool so don’t over-water.

Plant herbs requiring less water: Rosemary, English thyme, oregano and sage all do well with little watering. Remember, however, newly planted herbs require regular watering until the roots are established.

Keep grass-cutting blades high:

To help avoid a burned and browned lawn, keep your mower on a higher setting. With longer blades of grass, your lawn will use less water and the longer blades will help keep out weeds.

Grow a garden in pots:

You don’t need a large space to create a beautiful garden. Plant flowers such as begonias, petunias, geraniums, impatiens, succulents and fuchsias in containers. Cherry tomatoes, lettuce, peppers and herbs also work well in pots. Plants in containers dry out more quickly than if planted in the ground. Keep the container plants well watered and place the container in a location where it gets some shade each day.

Use plenty of mulch:

Mulch is a gardener’s friend during summer months as it soaks up lots of water, reduces erosion and keeps weeds in check. Its value dissipates with time, so it needs to be replenished regularly. Aim for about 3 inches of fresh mulch around flowers, trees and shrubs. Make sure the mulch does not touch the base of the plant.

Get rid of weeds now:

The best time to control weeds is early, before they flower and establish their root system. Waiting until after they flower makes the process more difficult, plus you run the risk of the flowers spreading weeds seeds around your garden. Pull weeds now and then cover the area with mulch to keep weeds from returning.