Summer is a time of constant
weeding, watering, and watching. Warm-season weeds like crabgrass and pigweed
thrive in the hot weather and can take over garden beds seemingly overnight. Be
sure to remove these undesirables before they set seed to break the cycle of
infestation, and mulch well, 1"-2" of your mulch of choice, to
prevent new weeds from germinating. It is critical to keep newly-planted plants
well watered through the hot days of summer.
Again, mulch is the key to
maintaining the even moisture that these young plants require. Apply 1" of
supplemental water each week in the absence of rain.
is also a perfect time to evaluate the performance of the plants in your
garden. If plants seem to be struggling, consider relocating them to a site
with more afternoon shade to reduce heat stress. Even the sun-lovers like
Echinacea and daylilies will bloom well with only a half-day of sun.
Established plants that seem to require more supplemental water than you are
willing to apply should be removed and replaced with more drought resistant
species. Our native trees and shrubs are excellent candidates.
like dogwoods and redbuds readily adapt to a summer-dry period once
established. Shrubs such as serviceberry and beautyberry are also very
forgiving and will get on well with occasional supplemental water once established,
provided they are mulched well.
If space allows, consider filling in
empty spaces in the perennial garden with fall vegetables. Crops such as beets,
carrots, bush beans, kale, collards, turnips, and Swiss chard should be planted
between the 15th of July and the 15th of August to mature during the cooler
weather of fall. Many of the Asian greens such as Tatsoi and Bekana will
overwinter and continue to provide nutritious greens until the warming days of
Seed is available from Southern
Exposure Seed Exchange, Johnny's Seeds, John Scheeper's, and many other
mail-order seed houses. Be sure to spray all cabbage family plants weekly with
a Bt product such as Thuricide to control the ever-present Cabbage Butterfly
larvae. This should be continued until November, when the butterflies are less
active. Alternately, cover non-fruiting crops with a lightweight summer insect
barrier to keep out unwanted pests.
During very cold weather, crops can be
protected with cloches or floating row covers like Reemay. Reemay and its kin
are very durable and will last for years if stored dry and out of strong
sunlight when not in use. Both fabrics are available from Johnny's Seeds and
are well worth the investment.
For updates and more!
Central Daylight Time Hours:
9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Central Standard Time (Winter) Hours:
9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
We are located at:
750 Cherry Road
Memphis, TN 38117
(Between Park & Southern)