Mid-Summer Tip:The Better-Late-Than-Never Garden

Better late than never when it comes to gardening! Browse here for tips on how to make the most of your garden, even late in the summer season.

As any green thumb knows, no what part of the country you live in, gardening is a year-round passion. But critically, February and March are viewed as the early start to the busiest season. The sooner you start preparing, the more relaxed you can be as you go about your chores. This will lead to greater enjoyment, as well as better results. Here are the essential late-winter/early-spring chores.

All zones:

  • Start the season indoors or in your potting shed, by cleaning your tools, oiling joints and sharpening blades as required
  • Re-stock your potting shed as needed, replenishing twine, supports, mulch, manure, topsoil and/or triple mix, grass seeds, and other essentials
  • Transplant deciduous trees and shrubs before buds begin to swell
  • Fertilize trees and shrubs with well-composted manure
  • Trim branches on trees and shrubs that were damaged by winter winds, ice etc.
  • Prune summer-flowering bushes (wait until after blooms fall to trim spring-bloomers)
  • Prune fruit trees before buds swell
  • Till soil in the vegetable garden, adding mulch and/or well-composted manure
  • Start summer-blooming annual seeds indoors
  • Start tomatoes, lettuce and other vegetable seeds indoors

Cooler climate (USDA approx Zones 1 through 7):

  • Cold-soil-loving peas, asparagus and rhubarb can be sown right into the garden as soon as soil can be worked
  • Conduct dormant spraying of fruit trees
  • Walk through the garden and look for bulbs or roots that were "heaved" out of soil during spring thaw, and gently re-bury
  • Order summer and autumn-flowering bulbs from catalogues (or shop in-store)

Warmer climate (USDA Zones approx 8 through 11):

  • Divide and transplant perennials
  • Transplant seedlings started indoors last month
  • Plant lilies, dahlias, gladiolus and other flowering bulbs and tubers
  • Don't get caught off guard though: follow the weather and keep material on hand to drape tender flowering bushes, in the event of a cold snap
  • Plant berry bushes or fruit trees before it gets too warm
  • Deadhead flowers from spent spring bulbs; fertilize

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