Summer is coming to an end and you’ve already planted insect-repellant plants like citronella grass and geraniums, or even some rosemary and basil, so you can definitely sit on your porch and enjoy your mosquito-free garden. And, if you are wondering how to stretch the life of your garden and all that’s in it, here are 5 tips to help with late summer gardening and lawn maintenance in Idaho.
1. Keep Hydrated
Water is as important for plants and lawns as it is for people, but they just don’t need as much. About an inch of water during the week will do for lawns and many plants—and most lawns can go two or three days without water. In fact, less frequent watering promotes deeper roots as they go down into the soil to find water. Drip hoses, great for conserving water, may work better for plants and vegetables than a sprinkling system because the water goes directly into the soil to nourish the roots.
A layer of mulch is effective for helping your soil to retain water, keep down weeds, and hide your drip hoses, which reduces evaporation as well. You can make your own mulch by composting lawn clippings, produce scraps from the kitchen, soil, leaves, wood chips, some waste paper, and fruits and vegetables. However, your compost pile may not get hot enough inside to kill weed seeds.
3. Weed, Prune, Deadhead, Cut Back, and Divide
Weed out the competition for your flowers, plants, and vegetables. Prune wilted or dead sections on plants. Deadhead your flowers as they fade so the plants can put their energy into more flowers rather than seeds. But, of course, birds may be visiting your yard for those seeds.
Because your yucca, iris, and daylilies have already bloomed, late summer or early fall is a good time to divide them and plant in new places, or give to friends and neighbors to plant in their own yards and gardens.
4. Enjoy Your Harvest
Late summer is a great time to grab some tomatoes and peppers, apples and pears, or zucchini and squash on your way to work so you can leave fresh produce for your coworkers in the break room. Harvesting will encourage the plants to produce more, and keeping fruit picked up off the lawn removes any attraction for pests.
5. Don’t Neglect Your English Garden
Your lawn may brown in the summer, but remember not to over water. Overwatering can actually discourage your lawn from sending down deep roots. One way to help your lawn during late summer is to raise the height of your mower blades. Longer blades of grass shade the roots and the soil, keeping it damp and cool. As leaves start to fall, keep the lawn raked and clean. A thick layer of leaves can smother your lawn. Instead, try using fallen leaves to smother the weeds in your vegetable garden.
For more information on lawn maintenance in Idaho, contact Diamond Lawns today.