Did You Get Dr. John’s Seed Coaster at One of His Talks?
Here’s How and When to Plant:
1. Loosen the soil.
2. Soak the seed paper in water overnight.
3. Plant the wet seed paper in the prepared soil, at a depth of about 1/4 inch.
4. Keep moist, especially during the first four to six weeks.
5. Practice weed control- pull them and shake off the dirt from the roots
6. Plant the paper outdoors in the cooler months, fall through early spring. Fall plantings will take advantage of the winter rains to give you early spring blooms.
7. Plant anytime indoors, then transplant to a more permanent location in early spring.
It’s summer. The sun is staying out longer and so should your gardening gloves! While spring is when you start your garden, summer is when it faces the biggest foes: drought, deer, and more pests. Luckily, these gardening tips can make sure your garden thrives in the summer sun. And gardening is good for your health!
Schedule Irrigation Check-Ups
During summertime, it’s especially important to check your irrigation system. In most parts of the country, you don’t need to have your irrigation system running in the colder months. Because it’s not running, irrigation systems are susceptible to wear and tear during these colder months. Even after the system is turned on in spring, the heat and increased demand for water in summer can lead to irrigation leaks and inefficiencies. During the warmer months, try to check your irrigation system weekly.
Unsure if you have an irrigation system in place? Here are my top tips for creating an efficient irrigation system:
- Repair nozzles and hoses as soon as possible
- Check your utility bills. If they’re skyrocketing, you might have a slow or undetected leak.
- If you notice puddles, you might have underground leaks. Try to solve these as soon as possible or call a professional to solve these issues.
- Check water pressure. If your irrigation system has weak water pressure, it won’t be effective at watering your entire garden.
Install Drip Irrigation
A drip irrigation system is great for annuals and perennials because it allows them to get enough water throughout the summer. It’s also better for conserving water, which is especially important in regions prone to drought. Even if you don’t live in an area experiencing a drought, drip irrigation systems can also help you save money on your next water bill and make your garden more environmentally sustainable.
Native Plants Are the Way to Go
Native plants are those which are originally from the area where you live. These plants are usually healthier for the land and increase biodiversity. Native plants also better withstand two of the biggest summer foes in your garden: deers and drought.
These plants tend to be drought tolerant because they developed in the same environment you’re living in. Plants originally from other regions aren’t as tolerant of areas prone to drought.
If deer are a problem in your area, try to get native plants in general, but especially those that are prickly, leathery, or aromatic. Deer don’t like the texture of prickly or leathery plants while the aromatic smell of certain plants repels them.
Ideally, you should save a quarter of your garden for native plants. To discover what plants are native to your region, check out the Farmer’s Almanac planting guide. Each year, they update what plants you should consider and when to plant them based on where you live. When using this resource, make sure you get as specific as possible with your location. Native plants can be different one hundred miles apart.
Mix Up the Perennials and Annuals
If you’re looking to grow food in your garden, plant perennial vegetables as well as annuals. Perennials are plants that live more than two years while annual plants live one year. A mixture of both creates a healthy garden. Perennials live longer, but annual veggies attract beneficial insects to your garden. Let some annuals go to seed to attract more pollinators.
Raise The Beds and Mulch
Instead of raising the roof this summer, raise your plant beds. Raised beds improve drainage, moderate soil temperature, and allow you to grow more plants than those closer to the ground.
Another way to make plants live longer, healthier lives is to mulch each plant. For summer vegetables, use hay or alfalfa as the top layer when mulching.
Plants aren’t the only thing needing attention in your garden. The soil needs your care too. This summer, try to improve the quality of your garden soil. If you can, use only certified organic soil amendments. To know if soil is certified, buy from local, trusted brands and check for the OMRI certified label. You can also compost in order to naturally improve your soil.
Add the Secret Ingredient
Did you know there’s a secret ingredient to keep your plant’s roots healthy throughout the summer? I’ve used it here on La Puma Farms for years and seen a greater crop yield, more vibrant plants, and many other benefits.
So what is this secret ingredient? Mycorrhizae. Mycorrhizae are fungi which have a healthy, mutually beneficial relationship with plants. They improve soil chemistry, plant nutrition, and soil biology.
Hydrate the Right Way
Be smart with your water usage. This is especially important if you live somewhere prone to droughts, such as Southern California. In fact, it’s even more important this year than most because California and much of the southwest is facing an unprecedented water crisis this year.
The best way to conserve water is to avoid thirsty plants. Instead, try to buy drought tolerant plants, especially drought-resistant perennials. Here are some of my favorite drought-tolerant plants:
- Centranthus ruber, commonly called Jupiter’s Beard
- Sea Holly, also known as Eryngium
Everyone comes outside more during summer, including pests. Pests can wreak havoc on your vegetables and decrease the quantity and quality of your crop yield. In order to confuse and trap pests, interplant flowers with your vegetables. Some of the best flowers to interplant include calendula and nasturtium.
Really Dig In
Gardens aren’t a one and done affair. They require consistent care and attention throughout the summer. Make sure you use your hands and touch the soil often. When you’re in touch with your soil, you can tell which plants have too much or too little water. You can also see if any plants are getting too much summer sun, if weeds are flourishing, or if pests are destroying your crops. I try to check in with my soil and plants every day.