August brings hot and sticky weather to Hampton Roads. With it, too, comes the full enjoyment and bounty of the edibles and flowers you've tended during the spring and early summer. The most important thing to do in your garden right now is... enjoy all the beauty you've accomplished!
Sit back, relax and enjoy that gorgeous view. Here's a few easy tricks to keep your garden in tip-top shape through the rest of the summer:
Pick Faded Blooms
Keep your annuals blooming by consistently removing faded blooms. If allowed to remain, blooming will likely decrease, as the strength goes into making seed. Also, pick flowers for bouquets in your home. This will not only help keep the garden neat, but will increase flower productivity. Gather blooms in the evening and plunge in water overnight before using.
A lot of gardens this time of year need a fresh application of mulch. Check that your mulch hasn't decomposed and add more as needed. Mulch conserves moisture. So, to properly conserve moisture and protect your plants, it is important to top off beds with bark, wood chips or pine needles at a depth between 3 to 4 inches.
Pick herbs for fresh use and for drying. Remember, harvesting will keep them growing longer!
Watering chores will eat up your garden time this month. Remember the basics:
• we recommend watering plants in the early morning
• water the soil, not the leaves in order to prevent spreading disease or fungus
• water deeply and occasionally, rather than shallow and often
• remember to water your containers, as they tend to dry out before plants in the ground