August Garden Fix-ups
August Garden Fix-ups
On the Cape many people have company in August, and frequently there are barbeques, family reunions and assorted other gatherings in our backyards. So at this time of year people are looking around at their gardens and wondering “What can I do to quickly spruce up the garden?”
Naturally, we want to do this quickly since the weather is usually warm, and we also want to make improvements that we’ll enjoy into October, long after the company is gone. Here are a few suggestions
- Let’s get the least popular fix-up out of the way first: weeding and deadheading. No, it’s not as much fun as planting, but spending an hour or two in the garden early in the morning cutting down the spent daylily stalks and pulling those weeds that appeared overnight (the crabgrass!) will instantly improve every landscape. To quote a famous ad campaign, JUST DO IT!
- Annuals are the answer! Poking in a few annuals at this time of year makes perennial gardens colorful until hard frost. But be sure to group your flowering annuals together in clusters of three, five, seven or more. One larger group will make much more of an impact than a random annual here and another there.
- If your window boxes or containers have dried out one too many times, or if the early flowering plants have gone by, refresh them with new flowers. In mixed containers where one or two plants have failed, scoop those out with a trowel and stick in an new plant in that location. Be sure to water the container well and sprinkle in some time-release fertilizer such as Osmocote to keep both the new and older plants flowering into the fall.
- Hanging baskets work wonders. Some people find that their hanging baskets have passed their prime by August, especially if they haven’t been regularly trimmed or fertilized. An instant fix up in these situations is to install new hangers. But hanging baskets are also good for instantly filling urns, pots and gardens. Since the plants in new hangers are large, one will fill a large space: just cut off the hanging hook, remove the plant from its pot, and install in your container or garden.
- Use garden ornaments to stop the eye. If you’ve got a location where there is a bunch of greenery but no color, a garden ornament or birdbath can instantly make the area look better. Move around something you already have or use this as an excuse to buy that birdbath, gazing ball or other ornament you’ve had your eye on.
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