After such a hot week, is your lawn looking as bedraggled as mine?
We certainly haven't had the rain that we received last summer!
Although we have enjoyed many 'beach days', the lawns and gardens are starting to suffer.
As I sit to write this article we are under yet another heat advisory.
They are predicting cooler, wet weather by the time you are reading it, but we will see if that develops.
Rain seems to be very sporadic this season; hitting in some areas while others only get a sprinkle.
I know that my gardens have only received a small amount of rain lately so I have had to do supplementary watering.
Remember to do your watering early in the morning or in evening once the heat of the day has passed.
You will lose a lot of water to evaporation during mid day.
It also stresses plants to have wet flowers and foliage when the sun is so strong.
Plus you may feel a little stressed too out in that hot sun!
A deep, thorough soak once or twice a week is much more beneficial than a short sprinkle every day.
Water needs to penetrate deep into the soil to replenish thirsty roots! Perennials, trees, shrubs and lawns need their roots to be strong to survive the rigors of a Northern Ontario winter.
Most herbs and vegetables aren't a permanent part of the garden, however watering practices for them are the same.
You want your plants to keep healthy as they yield late summer and fall crops.
Regular, deep watering will keep roots strong right into fall.
Consistent watering is also very important for your tomato plants.
Cool weather at the start of the summer had us all wondering if we would see much in the way of a tomato crop, but hot weather that finally came has resulted in my plants producing a great amount of fruit!
I am watering them diligently so that the soil doesn't dry out.
I don't want my fruit to develop 'blossom end rot'.
This problem arises when plants are stressed by dry spells from inconsistent watering.
Lack of calcium is also a contributed factor to this disease.
I have been sure to feed my plants every six weeks or so with an organic fertilizer high in calcium.
My tomato plants have rewarded me with lots of fruit!
My grandchildren and I have been picking the little Sunsugar and Grape tomatoes and eating them like candy.
While you are out in the garden doing your watering, take note of plants that may need attention once cooler weather arrives.
You may have some that haven't survived the heat, so will need to be replaced.
Take your notes to a garden centre to pick the best replacement for that area.
On the flip side, you may have some perennials or shrubs that grew so well that the garden has become too crowded.
Last week's article was all about transplanting trees and shrubs.
If something has to be moved, be sure to wait for cooler fall weather to do this task.
You can reference that article if you aren't sure how to get started.
If you have perennials that need to be moved or divided, once again timing is the key to success.
You can prepare a game plan now so you are ready when plans begin to look like they are shutting down for the season.
In a few weeks, I will write a full article on this subject, however the basic rule is that spring perennials are divided in the fall.
Fall blooming ones are worked on in the spring.
Summer bloomers or plants grown only for their foliage appeal can be divided in either spring or fall.
As we cruise towards fall, I hope you get a chance to really enjoy your late summer garden.
There are so many plants that are at their peak right now or just about to really shine!