Gardening: Preparing for Summer

Cary, NC – We are officially in the Summer season now which means new steps to take to make sure your garden is well taken care of.

Avoiding Pests

Summer brings out bugs that can hurt your plants. And there are some non-invasive, natural ways to keep your garden pest-free.

Turning your hose to a fine spray can be effective. Spray your leaves, stems and even the undersides of your plants to knock away harmful bugs that are gathering. This also opens up space for beneficial insects to move in.

Try growing some plants that deter bad bugs too. Plants with aroma such as lemongrass or basil may not smell that bad to us but for the insects that want to chew on your leaves, they stink. Also, try including plants that attract ladybugs such as fennel or caraway. Ladybugs eat aphids and other harmful pests and everyone cheers up a little when they see a bright red ladybug.

And of course, a healthy garden is the best way to keep out more disease or pests. Make sure you are taking care of your plants, checking the leaves for signs of disease and keeping them watered and fed.

Lawn Care

With more heat and less water, your lawn can suffer during the Summer. But there are some basic tips to make sure it does well.

For one, start mowing your grass long. If you are cutting it short, the roots will be immature and not extend very far. But if the lawn is longer, you get stronger roots and it can store more water, meaning less watering on your part.

In the Summer, your lawn also gets bare spots more easily so start thinking about reseeding your lawn and feeding it more regularly. Every six weeks is a good time to feed your lawn and if you are reseeding, looking for seeds such as tall fescue mixes. These do better in the heat.

Summer Flowers

If you are starting a new garden in the Summer, that is a perfect time to start picking flowers that do not need much water and can handle the heat.

Look for perennials, such as the Aster flower. You can also find nice tall flowers such as the Gloriosa daisy (also known as Blackeyed Susan). Flowers such as this are good for the hot temperatures.

You can also get some unique looking flowers that need very little water, such as the mealycup sage or local plants such as the Threadleaf Coreopsis. And the Lantana is a particularly resistant flower if you like the look of it.

Story by staff reports. Photos by Hal Goodtree, Anthony Easton and Serres Fortier. Gardening content on CaryCitizen is sponsored by Garden Supply Company on Old Apex Road in Cary.