Tips for the Best Summer Garden

Now that winter is finally over, the outdoors is calling. If your garden is a little worse for wear after a few too many cold touches of frost, there’s still time to get some new things planted. Planting a summer garden might come with a few challenges, but we know you’re up to it. Here are some tips to give you the best summer harvest yet.

General Care

For new gardeners, we’ll first go over how to ensure your plants stay alive. First, they need water. Especially in the Southern heat, plants love a cool drink. The best time of day to water plants is in the evening or early morning before the hot sun evaporates everything in sight. In that same vein, shade your seeds and seedlings. If the sun doesn’t dry them up, the birds will fly right off with them. Mulch or grass clippings over the seeds can help keep them protected.
Once your plants are shaded and watered, they need a healthy environment to grow. Insects are big and strong this time of year, so be proactive about preventing them. You’ll also need to keep an eye on weeds. Those irritating plants can sprout up overnight and take over completely, so pull them when you see them. A garden requires consistent care.

What to Plant

Annuals are your best bet if you’re planting a flower garden and want some color now. Annuals usually love that hot summer sun, so they’ll add plenty of color to your garden. If perennials are more your style, summer is great for starting them for next year’s garden. You’ll still get plenty of color before winter hits, and they’ll be prepped and ready to go for next spring.
Don’t think it’s too late to start vegetables! If you want to grow from seeds, you might have a tough time with things like tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers, but you can still find plants already started at many local gardening stores. Most other vegetables will be happy to snuggle into some warm summertime soil, and you’ll see them growing and producing quickly.
You also have plenty of time for a lovely herb garden. Whether you’re growing mint for a nice iced tea or cilantro for a hearty taco night, most herbs will produce a regular harvest until winter hits. If you’re interested in perennial herbs like lavender or rosemary, you’ll want to start them from cuttings this summer. By fall, they should be big, healthy, beautiful plants and ready for continuous supply next summer.
Even though we’re in the middle of some serious summer heat, it’s never too late to start a garden. All you need to know is what plants to grow and how to give them enough love to get an amazing harvest. For the best garden, chat with some local gardening friends. Don’t have gardening friends? Mix some sweet tea, pull out a few cookies, and invite the neighbors over. We bet they’ll have some great tips for your summer garden.