If you’re a gardener living in Minnesota, you know that July can be a challenging month. The weather is hot and humid, and rain can be sparse at times. It can be difficult to keep plants alive in such conditions. However, with a little bit of knowledge and preparation, you can make your garden thrive during July and August! In this blog post, we will discuss gardening tips for the heat of the summer months that will help you keep your plants healthy and happy.
One of the most essential things to remember when gardening in extreme heat is to water your plants regularly. The hot weather can quickly dry out the soil and cause drought-like conditions. Therefore, it’s important to keep an eye on the moisture levels in your garden.
Native plants are usually tolerant of the weather conditions, however, some annuals may need water once or even twice per day. Grass will go dormant if not watered regularly, but you’re likely to see it jump back to life right after the next good rain!
Water your vegetable plants, flowers, young trees, and shrubs early in the morning or evening, when the sun isn’t as strong, to minimize evaporation. If possible, use a soaker hose or drip irrigation system to water your plants’ roots directly. This will help reduce water waste and ensure that your plants are getting the hydration they need. You can buy one or make one out of an old, leaky hose by adding a few more holes and turning the facet down to a slow trickle.
Another important gardening tip for summer is to fertilize your flowering annuals. The hot weather can stress plants and cause them to lose nutrients, so it’s important to give them a boost with a fertilizer high in nitrogen. You can apply fertilizer directly to the soil as soon as the blooms begin to show.
Don’t forget the grass – July is the perfect time to fertilize your lawn for the second time of the season.
Do you have questions about which fertilizer to use? Stop by and ask one of our gardening experts at Pear Tree Nursery located in Little Falls, MN or call us at 320-632-4747.
Weeding and Maintenance
Don’t forget to weed and do other maintenance in your garden throughout the summer. Hot weather can cause weeds to grow quickly, so it’s important to stay on top of them. Many avid gardeners swear by using grass clippings, leaves, or mulch between garden rows to reduce weeds.
To keep flowers blooming longer, be sure you are deadheading them. Other tasks also include trimming climbing roses and raspberries, dividing your irises and day lilies, and trimming back plants that are getting too big or unruly.
Another important gardening tip is to choose heat-tolerant plants. There are many varieties of vegetables and flowers that can handle high temperatures without wilting, and even thrive on full sunshine. Some examples include tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, marigolds, and impatiens. When selecting plants for your garden, be sure to check the label to see if they are appropriate for the Upper Midwest growing zones, or ask our experts at Pear Tree Nursery while you are shopping. We have a wide selection available.
Pests can be a big problem in the garden, especially during the hot summer months. Aphids, Japanese beetles, and other pests are attracted to heat and can quickly damage your plants. Other more common problems in our area include cucumber beetles, squash vine borer, cabbage worm, slugs, tomato leaf spot diseases, and blossom end rot. To keep pests at bay, use a natural insecticide or repellent. You can also try planting certain herbs, like basil or mint, which pests don’t like.
While some early-season produce like rhubarb, asparagus, and leaf lettuce is ready in June, many fruits and vegetables are ready to be harvested starting in July through September. By now look for fresh tomatoes, onions, beets, cucumbers, peppers, and other summer crops that are ready to be picked! Be sure to harvest regularly to prevent overcrowding and encourage new growth.
With all of your hard work, the last item on your list should be to sit back and enjoy your garden. You deserve it!
By following these gardening tips, you can keep your garden healthy and thriving all summer long. Do you still have questions? Just ask us; our experts have many years of experience and love to give advice. Happy gardening!