Many people think planting in the summer won’t work because of the soaring heat and aridity of the soil; plants won’t take root properly, and will just fry up in the heat. Not true! You can plant in July and August, but you’ll need to give a little more care and attention to your newly installed friends. Here are a few quick tips on how:
- You want a soil with A LOT of organic matter in it because it will hold moisture better and longer, and give the plant’s roots a soft and nutritious layer to reach through quickly and easily. Bumper Crop Soil Builder is an excellent soil choice for this task, and you can purchase large or small bags of it based on your needs. You can also use manure or homemade compost for this task – anything with good organic matter in it. Line the bottom and sides of the hole you’ve dug before putting your plant in it, and cover it with a nice quality mulch when you’re done. The soil will hold more moisture down by the roots, and the mulch will help to prevent evaporation.
- Create a little moat or berm of mulch and soil around the base of the plant. This will help water drain downward to the roots, instead of running along the top of the soil and away from the plant. Right after planting, water deeply and thoroughly. This will force any air pockets out of the soil, helping the soil come in contacts with the roots, and give the plant a nice drink of water as it acclimates to a new spot.
- SUPERthrive can be used for soil preparation, root stimulation, fertilization, and to sooth the stress of being transplanted. Weakened plants are more susceptible to wilt, die back, and insect attacks, so helping the plant adjust quickly will help protect your investment. We also recommend Neptune’s Harvest or Pro Gro general purpose fertilizers for ongoing care and maintenance. All of these products are organic, nontoxic, and safe for people and pets. These products are all for sale in our Garden Store.
- Water “weekly and deeply” is the common saying. If you use sprinklers, water at dawn to lessen any evaporation from the sun. It’s better to water once a week for an hour or two than to water three times a week for only twenty minutes. However, if you use slow-release soakers, run them for only 20-30 minutes or so. Watch that you are not flooding your plants. You want them to be evenly moist and well drained, but not puddled, muddy, or sopping. This will rot their roots and drown your plants essentially – so monitor carefully until you find the right amount of water for your garden. Over time, as your plants become established, you may be able to rely on only the rain for most months of the spring and fall, watering only occasionally in summer, as needed.
- Plant on an overcast day later in the day, ideally before it rains. If you can avoid it, don’t plant in the heat of high noon. It will immediately zap your plant.
Following these tips will help you have fun planting in the summer, and help your garden thrive no matter what the weather. We hope you enjoy!