,Your summer garden allows you to have fresh vegetables and herbs. For those who love to potter about the garden, summer is a good time to plan your own garden. You might have to assess your garden for any damage caused during the winter months. A little preparation will go a long way to have a garden bursting with vegetables like tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers and other favourite vegetables. You can sit in your summer garden and soak in the sun, enjoy barbecues and other outdoor activities. Read on for some great tips and tricks to keep your garden amazing this summer:
Clean the patio
Sweep away debris and leaves and stop weeds from spreading throughout your garden. Your patio receives low light during winter, which causes algae and moss to gather; this needs cleaning or else it can become a slippery surface. You can clean with sprays meant especially for this, or scrub the area with a stiff brush. You should repair the missing mortar between slabs too.
Clean your garden furniture
Clean thoroughly your garden furniture – all the resin, metal and rattan tables and chairs with soapy water (warm). They will look clean and fresh and inviting, allowing you to spend a few hours in the sun. Softwood furniture should be treated annually with paint or wood stain which has a preservative, to extend the life of the furniture. Eucalyptus and teak furniture, which are hardwood furniture, are weather resistant naturally. You can treat them with teak oil when your furniture is dry completely, so this should be done at a later time.
Fix fences and trellises
Fix all the wobbly trellises which can support any climbers or creepers. Your fences might be pulled over with overgrown summer jasmine or honeysuckle. The right time to prune these is at the beginning of summer when the sap rises. A general, organic fertilizer will keep your climbers healthy. Fence panels might need fixing or replacing.
How to start a summer vegetable garden
You’ve done the necessary work to sit and enjoy your garden. You could also start planting vegetables to enjoy fresh produce the whole summer, from your own garden.
Location plays an important part when you are planting a garden. Most vegetables require 6-8 hours of sunlight, so you should pick the sunniest space in your garden. The vegetable patch should ideally be close to the house so that you can keep a check on it regularly and spot any problems early.
Healthy soils grow healthy produce. Soil test can reveal any missing nutrients, which you then add to the soil. Loose the soil and after raking the bed, cover it with 4” compost and add organic fertilizer. There should be a good mix till the top 6” of soil. Now your soil is ready.
Loosening soil is better than digging beds, as it might disturb the microbial life present at a depth of 24”.
After your summer crop is over, add fertilizer and compost in the soil to prepare it for the winter.
Beds should not be empty
You may not want to grow a summer garden, but it’s never good for beds to be empty. Instead, you can choose to plant cover crops like legumes and grains which are beneficial for the soil. Rye, red clover, vetch, sunflowers, flint corn or fava beans are also good cover crops for winter. Sunflowers have deep roots and can break the clay, so you can just plant a lot of sunflowers during the summer. They also attract bees, butterflies and other pollinators.
Choose plants correctly
Grow warm vegetables like tomatoes, eggplants, beans, peppers and cucumbers in warm weather and the same goes for vegetables which need cool weather.
Plant in grids
Planting in grids allows you to utilize more space than the row system. Advantages of planting in grids are that they shade the soil underneath, suppress weeds and grow in a CO2 rich environment.
Your summer garden is a source of delight for you, as you can enjoy nature in your own back and front yard, and eat fresh vegetables and fruits from your very own garden.