These easy summer gardening tips will help you maintain a beautiful garden you and your family can enjoy when you’re home.
It can feel like a daunting task, but can be easier than you may think — and it’s completely worth the effort!
Fortunately, you’ll discover easy and effective techniques that any gardener, experienced or not, can implement to elevate their garden to showstopper status. With a little bit of extra care, your garden can be the envy of the neighborhood.
Find out how, below.
CONTENTS – In this article, there are some extraordinary summer gardening tips for your beautiful garden, including;
- How to Keep Your Garden Looking Good Through Summer
- 1.Keep Your Garden Edgings Neat
- 2.Manage the Weeds
- 3. Keep Up with Deadheading
- 4. Quickly Address Problems
- 5. Revitalize Perennials
- 6. Pick Up Debris
- 7. Keep Shrubs Pruned
- 8. Direct and Control Growth
- 9. Provide Support
- 10. Maintain Proper Nutrition
- 11. Encourage New Growth
- 12. Fill in the Gaps
- 13. Plan And Re-Plan
- Final Thoughts on Summer Gardening Tips
- Next Steps
How to Keep Your Garden Looking Good Through Summer
Keeping the garden looking its best throughout summer requires at the very least, vigilant weeding and watering.
But even experienced gardeners can be disappointed by a lackluster garden when it’s compared to those in gardening magazines. And when you come home from vacationing at a beautiful resort with lush gardens, it’s hard not to compare.
Your garden can look gorgeous, too!
For the best results, try some of these summer gardening tips below to turn your garden into a showstopper.
1. Keep Your Garden Edgings Neat
Perennial beds spilling over with flowers are breathtaking to behold, but at times they can seem to overflow.
So, it’s best to restrain flowers within a defined area by installing a border.
A natural border, such as a row of annual flowers or small boulders, works well with an informal garden. For a more formal look, try mortared bricks or a classic scroll iron edging.
You can also experiment with unconventional borders, like cedar shakes or fieldstones on edge for a unique style.
For a clean line around your garden, separate the garden space from the lawn with a strip of mulch or a shallow trench. This makes an appealing visual buffer and keeps the grass from encroaching into the beds.
This separation will also make it easy to identify when spreaders like Bugleweed (ajuga) and Violets (viola) are escaping.
Finally, a border makes mowing and weed-whacking your lawn much easier.
This is one of the summer gardening tips that pays off in many ways!
2. Manage the Weeds
When it comes to having a beautiful, well-maintained garden, you’ll need to manage the weeds.
This may mean broadening your definition of a weed to include anything that has “volunteered” in your garden — even self-propagated seedlings from your own plants.
While self-sown seedlings may seem a welcome gift to new gardeners, they can crowd out other plants and upset a balanced design.
So, rather than give them free rein, monitor them closely and remove or relocate seedlings early on.
3. Keep Up with Deadheading
Another way to keep your perennials looking good is to remove any flowers that have passed their prime.
This is a practice known as “deadheading.” It’s actually one of the more fun summer gardening tips since it’s instantly gratifying!
The purpose of deadheading is twofold:
- Eliminating spent flowers for appearances
- Directing the plant’s energy toward new flower production rather than seed production
You can achieve this by hand in many cases, but woodier stems can call for a good pair of bypass pruning shears.
If you want new plants to self-sow or to collect seeds, you can allow a few spent flowers to discreetly remain.
4. Quickly Address Problems
When you notice insect or disease issues, you’ll want to take swift action. Ideally, you can identify and correct the problems you encounter.
Removing dead and damaged parts of the plant will help minimize unsightly damage from insects and disease.
It will also keep plant diseases from spreading through your garden. You may even want to replace entire plants that are unlikely to recover from severe damage.
But it won’t solve the problem.
That’s why it’s so important to diagnose and fix whatever is ailing your plants.
In the interim, remove unsightly leaves to keep the garden looking healthy.
5. Revitalize Perennials
This may seem drastic, but you’ll want to give your spring flowering perennials a good “haircut” mid-summer.
This is one of those summer gardening tips that is often overlooked – but yields great rewards!
It’s especially important to shear those perennials that tend to look ragged as the season progresses.
So, go ahead and shear back lifeless portions of plants like Snow-in-Summer (Cerastium tomentosum), Creeping Phlox (Phlox stolonifera), Catmint (Nepeta), and Flax (Linum usitatissimum).
When you do this, you may even be rewarded with a second bloom!
While you’re at it, remove the yellowed foliage of spring flowering bulbs, such as tulips and daffodils if they’ve died back.
You’ll also want to snip off the emerging flower stalks of Hosta, Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium), Lamb’s Ears (stachys byzantina). That assumes you value them as foliage-only plants or they do not complement the garden’s Design.
Doing this is called “live heading,” and it’s practiced upon plants that are enjoyed primarily for their foliage. Don’t worry, it won’t harm the plant in any way.
6. Pick Up Debris
For the best-kept garden, treat flower petals and fallen seeds from nearby trees as litter.
Leaving behind debris may attract unwanted pests. And letting tree seeds remain in the bed, or worse, covering them with mulch, will result in hours of endless weeding.
So be sure to clean up any plant debris for a healthier garden.
One way you can incorporate this into your routine is to bring a garden hod with you as you stroll along to collect what you find.
Then, you can toss it all in the compost pile!
7. Keep Shrubs Pruned
If your perennials are in a mixed bed (meaning it includes shrubs and other types of plants), you’ll want to keep the shrubs well-coiffed.
So, prune any dead or overgrown portions from shrubs with a sharp blade. A sturdy bypass lopper should do the trick with ease.
To limit the potential for spreading disease, be sure to sterilize the blade between cuts with a bleach and water solution.
Pay special attention to the shrubs around your foundation. Unless you seek a privacy shield, you’ll want to trim them to complement your home rather than hide it.
Overgrown shrubs often destroy the view of a garden from the inside. From the outside, they can make the garden appear neglected.
Too close to your foundation, and they can cause rot and insect problems. Too tall and they are a convenient cover for burglars.
Finally, if your shrubs are too overgrown to trim, consider removing them altogether.
8. Direct and Control Growth
For plants that produce more flowers when pruned, you’ll want to pinch back ½-inch of new growth each week on plants like Chrysanthemums, Cosmos, and Dahlias.
Doing so will delay bud formation and encourage branching.
The result? More flowers!
Just be sure to stop pinching by mid-summer to allow flowers to fully develop.
You’ll also want to prune spring-flowering shrubs that may become unwieldy. For instance, some varieties of Forsythia will take root wherever branches touch the ground.
Be aware that timing is critical when pruning any flowering shrub. You want to avoid removing the next year’s flower buds.
As a general rule, the safest approach is to prune very soon after flowering.
And for shrubs like hydrangea, some bloom on the prior year’s stems. So do some research on which variety you have before pruning.
9. Provide Support
Tall plants like Foxglove (digitalis), Larkspur (delphinium), and Gladiolas add height and drama to your garden. But, sometimes, they need a little support.
You can discreetly use green pencil stakes or sturdy twigs to keep these beauties upright.
Staking tall plants also helps improve air circulation and growing room. Simply secure the plants to the stakes with a green twine looped and a loose figure 8.
For bunches of flowers that tend to flop over in the rain, such as Daisies and Peonies, use metal grow-through hoops or tomato cages to help them maintain composure.
A ring of steel stakes crisscrossed with twine is another way to do it.
With either support structure, careful placement is key to successful camouflaging. And, you’ll want to set them up before the plants get too big.
For climbing vines, such as Sweet Peas and Morning Glories, use a soft string to guide plants upward or towards a support structure, such as a trellis.
10. Maintain Proper Nutrition
Good gardens start with good soil. If you have a mature perennial garden, you’re probably not going to want to dig it up and start over.
But one of the best regimens you can follow to ensure your perennials have the proper ongoing nutrition is to fertilize them weekly. A good fish & seaweed emulsion or other liquid fertilizer can provide a healthy dose of nutrients.
This is particularly important for container plants. Did you know they leach nutrients with each watering?
Annuals will thrive on a weekly feeding all summer long.
The importance of fertilizing your plants can’t be overstressed enough as one of the most important of these summer gardening tips.
For perennials and shrubs, though, you’ll want to avoid using high-nitrogen fertilizers by the end of August. Otherwise, you risk losing tender new growth to winter kill.
11. Encourage New Growth
You can encourage new perennial foliage to grow by removing older foliage.
For plants such as Lady’s Mantle (Alchemilla mollis) and Coral Bells (Heuchera species), remove the faded outer leaves to promote crown growth.
Cut off at least half of the foliage from the plants like Catmint (Nepeta museveni) and Dead Nettle (Lamium maculatum) after they’ve flowered for tidier mounts.
Some plants that look done for the season may surprise you with a repeat bloom.
This is true of Sweet Alyssum, whose waning spray of flowers bloom with new vigor when sheared.
Yarrow and Larkspur (Delphinium) also surprise with repeat performances when pruned and fertilized.
12. Fill in the Gaps
A perennial garden is like a symphony, with different sections taking the stage for a week or two at a time. As a gardener, it can be hard to synchronize the show.
So, you’ll likely want to intersperse some annuals into the design to round it out. That way, you’ll have a continuous bloom.
When you do this, go ahead and replace leggy cool weather annuals (like Pansies) with annuals that thrive in the summer. Good choices for the summer garden include Impatiens (for shade) and Zinnias (for sun).
Fill in any bare spots in the design left by spring-flowering perennials with taller annuals like Cosmos. (Just don’t plant over the perennials!)
To complete the look, refresh your window boxes and container plants with new annuals as well.
13. Plan And Re-Plan
As important to daily garden maintenance is making a habit of a plan-revise-plan cycle.
Use a discriminating eye to evaluate how your garden is growing at various times throughout the season.
Taking weekly photos will provide you with an unbiased perspective and highlight any design oversights.
That way, you can take note of perennials that you need to relocate.
However, delay moving them until the cooler months so you protect them from unnecessary stress. It’s a bad idea to move your plants in the unforgiving heat of summer.
As the summer comes to an end, consider showing biennial Foxglove (Digitalis) and Canterbury Bells (Campanula) now in anticipation of next year’s bloom.
Keep in mind timeless design principles when reviewing your garden:
- Use contrasting and complementary colors, textures, sizes, and shapes to achieve balance
- Vary plant heights to add depth and provide a sense of movement
- Repeat patterns and colors for a cohesive effect
- Create bold color juxtapositions softened by neutral whites and greens
Accessorize the garden with ornamentation, such as a rustic birdhouse to complement an informal garden or a gazing ball in a formal one.
Then, add meandering paths and well-placed seating–even an arbor–to make your garden more inviting.
How much to accessorize is a matter of taste, but often less is more.
Final Thoughts on Summer Gardening Tips
The camera captures the most flattering angle of gardens featured in magazines.
Fortunately, most gardeners wear rose-colored glasses of their own.
While not everyone will agree that your garden should be in pictures, your dream garden may just be just a few easy steps away this summer.
About the Author: Jackie Gately
I'm Jackie Gately, your travel confidante and the creative force behind Enjoy Travel Life, awarded the "Best Casual-Luxury Lifestyle Blog (USA)" in Travel and Tourism by LUXlife Magazine for four consecutive years With 25 years of published expertise, I'm a seasoned writer, editor, and photographer curating inspiring travel guides and lifestyle tips for empty nesters. I hope to kindle your spirit of exploration, encouraging you to overcome obstacles and turn your dreams into reality. Learn to minimize your pre-travel angst and maximize the joy of exploration with insights from my experiences. Let's make every adventure a celebration of this exciting phase of life! Follow my social channels for more inspiration.
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