Now that spring is giving way to scorching summer days, you can take a step back from your garden and relish the fruits of your handiwork. That is, unless you spaced it and you’re gazing at an empty plot that you forgot to plant.
Although you may have missed out on some serious spring garden work, it’s not too late to cultivate some glee this year. Here are some ways you can catch up on the gardening game this season if you dropped the ball.
1. Plant some herbs
Basil, cilantro, and oregano will all sprout from seed in the summer heat with some care. Before long, you can start harvesting for your summer salsa and bruschetta.
2. Warm up to winter squash
The time is right to sow some acorn, butternut, or pumpkin squash seeds, if you have the space. The fast-spreaders will take over in no time, and you’ll have a decent bounty for Halloween décor or Thanksgiving dishes.
3. Water, water, water
As summer heat sets in, strategic watering will be paramount to a June garden’s success. Drench new plants in the morning or evening (or at night in particularly dry climates) so that new roots can establish before it evaporates.
4. Take up composting
It’s always a good time to invest in your gardening future with a compost bin. Put your kitchen scraps (vegetables, eggshells, and coffee grounds), leaves, and twigs to good use feeding your flowers and vegetables next year.
5. Rejuvenate your perennials
Deadheading roses, coneflowers, and daylilies will keep the color coming all summer. After a bloom is spent, prune the stalk from the plant (remove individual spent flowers if more buds appear on the same stalk) to allow it to devote energy into new blooms instead of seed production.
6. Prepare for fall crops
Getting a head start on cool-weather crops like spinach, beets, kale, and brussels sprouts will make your autumn all the sweeter. Kale and collards taste even better after a light frost.
7. Take advantage of discounted plants
Gardening centers and department stores put steep discounts on flowers and vegetable starts this time of year. You can take your chances with some cheap peppers or tomatoes, or you can lay the groundwork for a striking display next spring by snatching up leftover perennials. Even if lilies and peonies are spent for the season, some foresight will make the bargain well worth it.