During these stretches of hot, dry weather, you can make the most out of your lawn and garden by planting cool-weather crops and keeping lawns and flower beds well tended.

In the busy season of barbecue cookouts and other summer activities, it’s easy to forget to take care of the basics in your garden by keeping it hydrated, fertilized, and disease-free.

If you are off on vacation, contact us for regular lawn and garden care. Dry soil is the enemy of sod, seeds trying to germinate as well as to starter plants.

Tips to keep your garden at its best

• Take advantage of discounts at nurseries and garden shops. This can be the best time of year to purchase perennials such as chrysanthemums and asters or to replace spring plants.
• Get ready to plant late-blooming annuals that tolerate cooler nights. Plants that bloom in August include snapdragons, petunias, and dahlias. September-loving plants include sweet alyssum and pansies.
• Keep up with the weeding! When it’s hot, it’s easier to pull out weeds.
• To keep plants flowering, pluck off dead flower heads on a regular. This is especially important for bedding roses or rose bushes. Cut the deadheads off just underneath the two leaves.
• Don’t leave debris to rot because this can introduce fungus and disease into your garden.
• Keep your garden hydrated. Water, water, water! Choose early mornings or late evenings – never midday when the sun is really hot. Plants should be watered right at the base to get those roots soaked.
• To aid in moisture retention, ensure that you mulch. Composted bark mulch adds nutrients and nitrogen back into soil that has been depleted by the plants during that year. Mulch will help retain the water as well as insulate the plants from high temperatures.
• Keep your exteriors fertile. Apply a fertilizer and work it into the top of the soil.
• Check for slugs and harmful insects. Apply pest controls.
• As August approaches, clean out all of the warm weather crops and add organic matter.

If your lawn has yellowish green grass, it may mean that your soil is getting hard and water is not getting to the roots. Adding nitrogen, aerating and dethatching can help this process of getting water to the roots in your clay soil. This will help your lawn the dark green glowing hue that all homeowners want.
Remember that you can start cool-weather crops in August; they will last right until the first frost in November. Broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, radishes, carrots, collards, garlic, kale, lettuce, mustard, swiss chard, spinach and turnips are all ‘frost tolerant. In fact, exposure to frost can improve their flavours and sweetness.