Summer Gardening Checklist

A Nebraska summer can get pretty hot and humid, but these 10 items will keep your yard looking beautiful all summer long.

1. Add More Mulch

You are likely seeing empty or low spots in your mulch and adding a fresh layer can help your plants weather the summer heat. If you plants are starting to brown or look droopy, check the depth of your mulch and feel for dampness. If there is no moisture you should add more mulch and keep up with a watering schedule. Check out our 100% organic mulch options here.

2. Pull Weeds

Weeds steal from your other plants. They soak up lots of water, pull nutrients from the soil, attract pests, and some even promote disease. Getting them sooner rather than later makes pulling easier and reduces the number of seeds they create. Quick Tip: weeds pull easier from damp soil so water the garden first to make the job quicker.

3. Replace Spent Annuals

By now your annuals are likely looking bleak. Annuals don't last all summer so replacing them can bring new life to your garden. Summer plantings are best done in the evening to give the soil time to settle around the plant roots before exposure to the hot summer sun.

4. Fill in Gaps

The best way to protect your garden from the heat is to fill in all the gaps. Take not of the height of all your plants and make sure they all get the necessary amount of sun, but by filling in open spaces you can greatly reduce the amount of heat that gets trapped between plants. Keeping sun off of the mulch will also allow the soil to hold moisture even in high temperatures.

5. Trim Perrenials

Keep perennials compact and sturdy by trimming down tall shoots. Many plants have a tendency to grow up rather than out, but by trimming them back they will grow fuller and healthier.

6. Remove Faded Flowers

One of the quickest and easiest ways to clean up your garden's look is by simply removing all the faded flowers. This will make the healthy blooms stand out more and give your garden a healthier feel.

7. Create an Efficient Watering Schedule

Not everyone can afford fancy in-ground watering systems, but there are a lot of things you can do to improve water efficiency in your garden. Healthy soil is the key because it holds a lot more water. Organic compost is the foundation of healthy soil, but adding a layer of mulch and avoiding harmful chemicals also play important roles. Try to water your garden in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid exposing wet plants to midday sun which will cause browning. Watering too often creates shallow roots so train your plants by sticking to a watering schedule of 2-3 times per week.

8. Harvest Fruits & Vegetables

In the summer heat, vegetables can turn quickly. By harvesting regularly you can ensure higher quality yields and the plants will produce more. Leaving fruits and vegetables to rot in your garden won't hurt the plants and may actually improve soil quality, but it will also increase the number of flies and other pests that live in your yard.

9. Divide Perennials

Some perennials, like Iris, like to be divided every few years. This not only improves the health of the plants, but it gives you free plantings to fill in your garden or to give as gifts. Follow this link for tips on how to divide your perennials.

10. Raise Your Mower Height

A beautiful garden can still be overshadowed by a brown, patchy lawn. The best way to keep your lawn from browning is to raise the height of your mower so you aren't cutting the grass so short. You might be worried that you'll have to mow more often, but this isn't the case as the grass won't grow as quickly in the very hot Nebraska summers.

If you have tips of your own please share them on in the comments or on our Facebook page!