Summer is a great time to enjoy your yard and garden. Time invested now will reward you with a bigger and more beautiful display of blooms and greenery. As the heat increases, easy maintenance practices will keep things looking their best. Let's see how these tips can help you grow the ultimate summer garden.
• Before you invest in new plants, amend your soil with high-quality compost. Organic material can break up heavy clay and provide nutrients that help plants grow.
• Plant flowering annuals and perennials closely to increase shade, minimize water loss and block out weeds. Little or no bare ground should show when the plants mature.
• Mulching reduces soil erosion and moisture evaporation. A 2-inch layer is ideal. Plants also benefit from a side dressing of compost once a year.
• Make time to weed. Unwanted plants grow and multiply rapidly. One weed can produce hundreds more if it goes to seed.
• Newly planted trees and shrubs must be watered several times each week to encourage root growth. It's important to water plants deeply. The soaker hoses offered at Rocky's Ace Hardware are perfect for this.
• To keep flowering annuals and perennials looking great, remove spent blooms. Trim tall plants like snapdragons back by one-third. Deep pruning can trigger a second flush of blooms.
Almost every homeowner in New England wants a beautiful lawn. Following these tips can help you achieve this goal.
To keep your lawn lush and green, raise the mowing height as the heat increases. Shading the roots is the easiest way to help the grass survive the hottest weather. Recommended cutting heights are between 2 and 3 inches.
In shaded areas, the grass should be cut higher. Increasing the leaf size allows the grass to produce more energy through photosynthesis, which makes the lawn greener and healthier.
Average lawns should be fertilized just once or twice a year around Memorial Day and Labor Day. If you have an irrigation system, you can fertilize up to four times.
Recommended application rates are between half a pound and three-quarters of a pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet. Commercial fertilizers state the ratio between nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. The first number will give the percent of nitrogen. This allows you to determine how much nitrogen is in a pound of fertilizer and how many pounds you will need for your lawn.
If you leave the clippings on the ground or have a shaded lawn, you can use half as much fertilizer and still have a great yard. The right fertilizer will balance the growth of the foliage and the roots, which will improve the appearance and health of your lawn.
Visit Rocky’s Ace Hardware to find everything you need for your home and lawn care, all under one roof.
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