By following this checklist, you can ensure that your garden is healthy, thriving, and producing an abundance of beautiful and tasty plants throughout the growing season.
Flower Beds, Trees and Shrubs
- Water deeply and consistently, especially during dry spells. Water early in the morning or late in the afternoon to minimize water evaporation.
- Do not remove the foliage of spring bulbs until it has yellowed and dried.
- Add bright color to the landscape with perennials, including zinnia, salvia, and blue sage.
- Regularly remove faded flowers to encourage continuous blooming.
- Keep up with weeding to prevent competition for resources.
- Remove spent flowers to encourage continuous blooming. Trim back leggy growth to promote bushier growth.
- Trim back any dead or damaged branches. Lightly prune spring-blooming shrubs after they finish flowering.
- Apply mulch around the base of trees and shrubs to conserve moisture and regulate soil temperature.
- Apply a slow-release, balanced fertilizer to established trees and shrubs if needed.
- Harvest your vegetables as soon as they are ripe for freshest taste, to prolong production, and to avoid pest issues. Beans, peas, squash, cucumbers, and okra are often ready. Harvest Irish potatoes when two-thirds of the tops have died down. Store in a cool, dark place.
- Sow seeds for second plantings of fast-maturing crops like beans, carrots, and salad greens.
- Sow seeds of beans, corn, cucumbers, melons, squash, and pumpkins directly into the garden. You can still plant okra, southern peas, lima beans, and sweet potatoes.
- Plant heat-loving herbs, including basil, rosemary, and Mexican tarragon. Pinch your annual and perennial herbs to promote bushier growth.
- Monitor for pests and diseases and take appropriate action if needed. Monitor for pests and take action if needed, such as using physical barriers, hand-picking, or introducing beneficial insects.
- Side-dress heavy-feeding crops with a balanced fertilizer according to package instructions.
- Provide support (staking or cages) for tall or vining crops like tomatoes and beans.
- Begin harvesting early crops like lettuce, radishes, and strawberries.
- Store onions in a dry, airy place.
- If you have areas where grass simply doesn’t grow well, consider a ground cover.
- Mow your lawn at recommended heights (St. Augustine and Bahia: 3 to 4 inches; Centipede: 1.5 to 2 inches; Dwarf St. Augustine: 2.5 inches).
- Set aside time each week for thorough weeding sessions in your garden. Regular weeding helps prevent weeds from getting out of control and competing with your desirable plants for nutrients and water.
- Weed before they set seeds. Be especially vigilant in removing weeds before they have a chance to flower and set seeds. Preventing seed production will significantly reduce future weed populations.
- Weeding is easier when the soil is slightly moist. Consider weeding after a rainfall or watering session when the soil is more pliable and weeds come out more easily.
- Pay attention to all areas of your garden, including between rows, along fence lines, and in neglected corners. Weeds can quickly take advantage of open spaces.
- As a last resort, consider using herbicides labeled for your specific weeds. Be cautious when using herbicides and follow all instructions and safety guidelines.
- Hand-pull weeds as soon as you notice them. Grasp the weed near the base and gently pull it out, making sure to remove the roots to prevent regrowth. Use hand tools like a weeding knife, hoe, or weeder to tackle larger or more stubborn weeds. These tools can help you remove weeds with deep roots or those growing between cracks in pathways.
- Clean and sharpen garden tools for optimal performance.
- Continue adding kitchen scraps and garden waste to your compost pile.
- Set up traps or barriers to deter pests like slugs and snails.
- Regularly inspect your garden for signs of stress, pests, or disease.