Procrastinator's Guide for Summer Gardens

Procrastinator's Guide for Summer Gardens

Jul 27th 2023

With summer rising temperatures, it is time to embrace the hot days and get started on your summer garden.

Are you a procrastinator who's putting off starting your summer garden? Don't fret! Despite the late start, you can still enjoy a flourishing and vibrant summer garden with strategic planning and focused efforts.

Whether you have limited preparation or are unsure about your gardening zone, various flowers, vegetables, and herbs can be planted during late June and July and still provide you with a bountiful harvest.

In this guide, you'll learn the essential tips and tricks to help you achieve a beautiful yard, even if you're starting late in the season. From efficient plant selection to smart garden management, get ready to transform your outer space into a flourishing green oasis that you can enjoy all season long.

Tips For a Flourishing Summer Garden

Assess Your Garden

Take the time to evaluate your garden space before you begin planting. Take a careful look at the existing plants or structures and identify areas that need any necessary repairs and changes. Assess the available sunlight and soil conditions.

This will help you plan your garden layout and make informed plant selection and placement decisions. Consider water availability, potential shade areas, and any specific requirements of the plant you want to grow. A complete assessment will ensure that you make the most of your available space and resources.

Prepare the Soil

Ensure your garden soil is in optimal condition for planting. Test the soil PH before planting. Clear any weeds or debris and loosen the ground using a tiller or garden fork. Amend the soil with organic matter such as well-rotted manure or compost to improve its fertility and water-holding capacity. This quick soil preparation will help nurture your plants and maximize growth.

Choose the Right Plants for Your Summer Garden

When starting late, choose plants that are ideal for summer gardens. Here are some vegetables, flowers, and herbs that have short maturity periods and are heat-resistant.

Summer Garden Vegetables

If you want to plant veggies in the summer, there are still plenty of options available in June and July. Here are some options to help you have baskets full of sun-ripened and juicy vegetables ready for mid-summer cookouts.

Tomatoes: Look for tomato varieties that mature early, such as 'Early Girl' or 'Celebrity.' Consider purchasing young transplants from a nearby nursery to save time. Transplant garden-ready tomato plants in early June, and you'll be harvesting beautiful vines of vibrant red tomatoes all season long.

Cucumbers: Varieties such as 'Bush Bush' are compact and perfect for small gardens. They produce crisp cucumbers in just a few weeks.

Beans: Bush beans, such as 'Provider' or 'Contender,' mature quickly and require little maintenance. They are ready to harvest in 50-60 days. The heat-tolerant, compact, and prolific plants produce sweet and delicious dark-green pods all season.

Zucchini: Compact zucchini varieties like 'Patio Star' or 'Gold Rush' are ideal for container gardens and yield a large harvest quickly.

Summer Garden Flowers

Flowers, like vegetables, can produce stunning blooms before the end of summer. Choose annuals that will quickly fill empty places and offer a visually appealing landscape. Whether directly sown or transplanted, the options here will bloom this season.

Marigolds: Marigolds are easy to grow and bloom profusely throughout the summer. 'French Marigolds' and 'African Marigolds' come in a variety of colors and sizes.

Zinnias: These heat-loving beauties are a favorite among procrastinators' seed stashes. Zinnias are vibrant and resilient flowers that can be sown directly into the ground. Look for 'State Fair' or 'Cut and Come Again' varieties for continual blooming.

Sunflowers: Sunflowers are famous summer flowers that grow quickly and create eye-catching blooms. Choose dwarf species such as 'Sunspot' or 'Teddy Bear' for limited space.

Cosmos: Cosmos flowers are known for their delicate, daisy-like look. Cosmos' Sensation Mix' or 'Bright Lights' grow quickly and produce blooms.

Summer Garden Herbs

If you are planting your herbs in the ground or a pot, choose a ready-to-transplant variety so you can start cooking right away! Remember that the more you cut back herbs, the more they grow, so do not be shy! Consider the following options.

Basil: A must-have in your summer garden, basil is a fast-growing herb. Starting with garden-ready plants ensures that you will have fresh basil all season. For container gardening, consider compact varieties such as 'Spicy Globe' or 'Dwarf Greek.'

Cilantro: Cilantro can be planted in the ground or pots. It grows quickly and provides a fresh supply of leaves for flavorful dishes.

Mint: Mint is a resilient herb that spreads quickly. To keep it from taking over your garden, put it in containers. Choose from a variety of mint flavors, including spearmint, peppermint, and chocolate mint.

Parsley: A versatile herb, parsley provides flavor and visual appeal to foods. It grows well directly on the ground or in containers.

Provide Adequate Watering and Sunlight

Proper watering is essential for the longevity of your summer garden. Late June and July can be hot and dry, so make sure your plants get enough water. Also, make sure your plants receive adequate sunlight and moisture. Observe the patterns of sunlight in your yard and position plants properly.

If your garden gets a lot of midday sun, cover more delicate plants by mulching around your plants with organic materials such as wood chips or straw. Adding mulch can help with moisture retention and weed control. Consider using soaker hoses or drip irrigation to provide water straight to plant roots, reducing water loss due to evaporation.

Practice Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance is required to ensure that your garden flourishes throughout the summer. Keep an eye out for pests and diseases and, if needed, take appropriate action. Deadhead spent flowers and pinch back lanky foliage to promote bushier plants and encourage continued blooming.

Weeds compete for resources and may impede the growth of your favorite plants, so keep an eye on weed control. Moreover, regularly check for signs of nutrient deficiencies and fix them immediately to promote optimal plant health.

Use Container Gardening

Container gardening is an excellent choice for procrastinators since it provides greater flexibility with minimal ground preparation. Plant a variety of vibrant flowers, herbs, or even small vegetables in elegant pots of various sizes and shapes. Containers can readily be moved about, allowing you to experiment with different layouts and guarantee that the beauty of your garden is not confined to a single location.

The Bottom Line

Even if you procrastinate on your summer garden, creating a beautiful outdoor space is never too late. By assessing your garden space, preparing your garden soil, selecting quick-growing plants, using container gardening, and practicing regular maintenance, you can grow a vibrant and attractive summer garden that brings joy to your summer days. So, pull up your sleeves, follow this guide, and prepare to bask in the beauty of your last-minute garden success.