Whew! It is hot outside! If you find yourself retreating to the pool or near an A/C unit, do not forget, your plants are also waiting for a cool drink of water. Here are some summer gardening tips to keep your plants happy and healthy all summer long.

The hottest temperatures of the summer are still on their way. In the heat of the summer it is more important than ever to keep your containers well-watered. Sometimes that means watering them twice a day! Smaller containers and hanging baskets dry out faster and may require more water.

Pro tip: Try watering when it is cooler outside. By watering in the morning or in the evening you can reduce evaporation and make sure your plants enjoy every drop of nourishment.

Spreading a 2-inch-deep layer of mulch over your soil is one of the best things you can do for your garden. The mulch blankets the ground, shielding the soil from the sun. This keeps it cooler, so your plant roots are happier, and prevents moisture loss.

Some of your perennials and shrubs may need a little extra TLC to keep them looking fresh during the summer months. Deadheading spent blooms can not only help extend the blooming time of many flowers but it will also provide for a more attractive display.

A general rule of thumb for Chrysanthemums is to stop pinching them back around the Fourth of July. This will assure that you will have beautiful blooms in the fall prior to first frost.

Weeding is our least favorite task, alas, it still must be done! Many pesky weeds love summer heat and quickly take the jump from tiny to gigantic. It is important to pull them from your garden because they suck up moisture and nutrients your plants need. Many weeds also encourage insect pests and diseases to pop up in your garden.

With a little love and a few dirty hands, you can enjoy your garden blooms even through the dog days of summer. Head to your local garden center for no-fuss, drought-resistant perennials or to browse plants and shrubs that bloom in the fall (it is just around the corner)!

This article is sponsored by McNamara at Sand Point, which has 2 acres of production greenhouses, retail florist and gift shop, as well as retail garden center and wholesale plant business. Contact McNamara by calling 260-747-4131 or visit 4322 DeForest Ave, Ft. Wayne, IN 46809.

The Waynedale News Staff
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Erin Davidson

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