As we approach the end of the summer season and prepare for fall, there is a seemingly endless list of garden chores to do. The following list provides a much-needed alternative to our usual approach and hectic schedule.
1. Enjoy time in the garden doing nothing, even if only for a few minutes.
2. Harvest something and give it someone unexpected.
3. Enter the garden at a time you usually would not, notice the different light.
4. Enter the garden in the full moon light (August 24th is the next one)*.
1. Watering should occur in the mornings on the days the soil begins to show signs of drying, either by touch or sight. For most sunny containers in the summer, this is everyday. Gardeners who wait for plant wilting before water is applied run the risk of stunting plant growth and creating a weak plant, more susceptible to disease and insects. For those needing a little help keeping plants watered, consider using a product called 'Soilmoist'. These water holding polymers can be added at time of planting or to established containers.
Farmer Talk - "Green Manure" In gardener's lingo, green manure is a type of cover crop grown primarily to add nutrients to the soil. A green manure crop is typically grown for a specific period and then plowed under and worked into the soil. As a cover crop, green manure keeps moisture levels up and weeds down. After being worked into the soil, green manure adds nutrient-rich organic matter and also improves water retention.
Have you moved into new construction or just need a fresh start on an abandoned yard? Start with a design. When designing a garden, the first thing you should think of is yourself. Really, it's okay to be selfish. I want you to consider what you like, what you don't like, your style, your preference, how you like to spend your time, what you like to think about, what you like to talk about, what you think is pretty, avant-garde, classy, tacky & silly. All of this, and so much more, is the essence of you.
This month in Her Garden, learn about proper planting methods. And once you have recovered from digging those holes, continue caring for your plants and your soil. For a strong, healthy garden, supplement nature with regular watering. One heavy rain replaces only one scheduled watering. In the heat of the summer, plants need water several times a week.
Greens, greens, greens! Cool season crops are finishing out now. Lettuces and leafy greens are ready or close to ready to harvest. Over-planted rows should be thinned, finished rows should be pulled, and soil should be readied for the next rotation. However, if your greens are still viable and you want to leave them, it's ok.
Use mixed containers for color and excitement anywhere!
For some ladies, gardening is not always an option. Many of us live in apartments or in condos. Sometimes, we find ourselves too busy, too tired, or too stressed to think about yard work. Keep in mind though, even during your busiest weeks, getting down in the dirt is one of the best stress relievers of all time. You can always add life to your space by using containers.