Gardening Tips and Highlights Waushara County Master Gardeners

Tips for minimizing summer chores

Simplify your summer gardening tasks with these garden chores. As temperatures rise and the beach beckons, even the most dedicated gardeners feel like slacking off on weekly yard and garden chores. And why not? By late summer, isn’t it time to kick back a bit and enjoy the fruits of early season labor? Yet mid-to late-summer is exactly when we want gardens to be colorful and looking their best. For most, that takes work, but for those with a bit of foresight and a few slick tricks under their belts, it’s possible to help gardens to become more self-sufficient. The following are tips for keeping late summer chores to a minimum. Cover bald spots: Cruise through the garden now, spying out spots where soil is exposed. The bare ground is a welcome mat for weed seeds and they’ll waste no time settling in. It helps to invest in a few bags of mulch to cover any open areas. You’ll be controlling weeds and also helping to retain soil moisture.   Arrest weedy criminals:  So many aggressive weeds set seeds mid-summer through fall, and it ought to be a crime. Though the list of weed seeds that germinate in spring is long, many start or restart their life cycle later in the season. These include such weedy thugs as grasses, knotweed, dandelions, thistles, and nutsedge. You can stop those seeds before they grow by sprinkling a pre-emergent weed preventer atop garden soil or mulch. When this is applied in spring and mid-summer, it prevents weed seeds from rooting all season, including seeds that are carried by wind, birds or animals. So, no roots, no weeds, no weeding.

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