You made it! The days are getting longer and warmer. Summer is right around the corner. Now is the time to prepare to make the most of Seattle’s best-kept secret: summer sunshine. Planting the right things, readying your irrigation systems and keeping up with maintenance will make sure you’re ready to enjoy the long, warm evenings in your garden without worrying about what still needs to be done!
Plant and protect
As the soil warms, it’s at last safe to plant tasty summer crops straight into the garden. To early season crops you can add cucumber, melon, squash, beans, parsnips, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers and corn.
On the decorative side, now is the time to plant summer-blooming flowers. You can add geraniums, petunias, dahlias, coleus, gladioli, and tuberous begonias, with chrysanthemums providing fall color.
Temperatures in the Pacific Northwest can still drop overnight even as days warm. Consider protecting your most heat-sensitive plants, such as tomatoes, with covers during cold nights. For small plants, you can use a gallon milk jug with the bottom cut off. You can also put a few bamboo poles into the ground around your plant and drape a bedsheet over them. Just make sure to remove covers during the heat of the day to prevent your plants from overheating and dying.
As you put in new bulbs and plants for summer, make sure to take care of your spring blooms. Deadhead faded flowers by removing dead blossoms with a cut below the dead blossom but above the first set of leaves. Make sure to leave the rest of the foliage alone though, it will fade by itself after storing precious nutrients for next year.
As we head towards warmer months, now is a great time to fire up your irrigation system for a test run. Let each system run for five minutes and look for puddles of water or unwanted jets. These leaks can drive your water bill way up so it’s important to fix them as soon as possible.
If you want to cut your spending on water even further and be more eco-friendly, consider switching to drip irrigation, which uses less water — more effectively. You can also add timers and other automation to make things as easy and efficient as possible. Give us a call at 206-551-9872 to find out more.
If you do water by hand, be sure to give plants long, deep drinks to foster stronger root growth. Just misting the garden area is less efficient and can foster disease.
It’s probably a good time to mow your lawn. As well as keeping it looking tidy, this helps control weeds that might pop up. Don’t cut too much though. Leave the grass at two to three inches of height and never remove more than a third of the total length in one go. This promotes stronger root growth and healthier grass.
If you’re sick of maintaining your grass and want to consider something new, give us a call at 206-551-9872 to talk about good-looking, low-maintenance alternatives.