Give Your Garden a Boost Finish out the season with a beautiful bang!

Give Your Garden a Boost
  • Posted July 21, 2014

Don’t let the dog days of summer ruin your patio and landscape’s good looks! Instead, give your plants’ a boost and keep both vegetable gardens producing and flowers blooming. Let’s face it, life is busy, and sometimes we don’t get out to the garden as often as we would like, which can lead to less than picture perfect gardens. Then add some summer heat and drought, pests and disease as additional stress factors and soon you are noticing wilting, brown leaves, and fewer blooms. A small amount of effort and a few simple tips will have your gardens looking great once again.



      Your container is still growing and needs some attention, but a few of the plants have ‘bitten the dust’. No need to worry-there are solutions. Either pull them out to allow room for the healthy ones to thrive or replace them with fresh plants. The same goes for plants in the landscape. A garden bed is a work in progress and there is no need to panic if there is a plant or two that have lost the battle. This time of year, the garden centers are offering great deals on good-sized plants and no one but you will know that you have replaced them.
      Trimming off leggy or dead growth can make a world of difference, so don’t be shy- plants benefit from pruning, and will gain strength and perform better. Remove unsightly foliage and stems.
      Take this opportunity to remove spent blooms. Unless you are planning to collect seeds, trim off any seed heads that are forming. This will allow the plant to focus its energy on blooming rather than producing seeds.
      Weeds take away from the beauty of the garden. Don’t let them rule! By pulling a few each time you visit your garden it won’t be an overwhelming task requiring hours of bending and pulling.
      When you have finished pruning and prettying-up your pots and garden beds, give them an extra boost with some fertilizer. You risk burning your plants with fertilizer if the plant is dehydrated or the soil is too dry, so check the soil for ample moisture before feeding them.
      watering tomato Perhaps some of the excitement of caring for the vegetable garden has worn off and watering practices have been waning. The plants suffer when there is not sufficient moisture, but the gardener suffers as well! The objective to planting a veggie garden is to be able to reap the benefits. For your plants to produce generous amounts of nice-sized fruit, ample water is required. Get yourself back into the routine of watering; it is the single most important practice in order to have a successful vegetable garden. Water thoroughly and early in the day as needed for optimal results.
      Another practice that we tend to lose our enthusiasm for is keeping the garden bed free of weeds. By getting those unsightly intruders out of the garden, you are not only sprucing up the appearance of the bed, but you are allowing your vegetable plants to grow without competing for the available nutrients in the soil. So give your plants a chance to provide an abundance of fruit by staying on top of the weeding. There really is not anything more satisfying than a garden free of weeds.
      Vegetable plants are generally aggressive and expend a lot of energy producing fruit. Feeding the plants at the time of planting is imperative, but now is a good the time to give them a mid-season jolt of feed to carry them through the rest of the season. Plants provided with the nutrients needed will produce more fruit and be less susceptible to disease and pests.
      Don’t forget to enjoy the harvest. Vegetables picked before they get too large are tender and flavorful. Keeping vegetables picked regularly will encourage new fruit to form.
      Kay Bishop
      About the Author

      Kay Bishop is a greenhouse grower/owner, artist, and horticulturist at MasterTag – a horticultural printing company.

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      Give Your Garden a Boost

      The Quick Hit List

      • Remove dead stuff
      • Add fresh plants
      • Trim things back
      • Weed
      • Water
      • Fertilize