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HomeTHE WATERING CAN-How to care for gardens in the summer

THE WATERING CAN-How to care for gardens in the summer

July in Southern New England is one of my favorite months, as I do not mind the heat. The Angle Tree Garden Club of North Attleboro is taking our summer break. 

We still have watering of the local gardens to do. We are watering the geraniums and perennials at St. Mary’s Cemetery and Mount Hope Cemetery at the flagpoles. The senior center, Revolutionary War Garden and the herb garden at the Woodcock Garrison House are also on our watering list. A different member takes a week all summer to water and weed the gardens above.

My garden still looks great. Right now, the Asiatic lilies, ballon flowers, hydrangea, daisies and astilbe are in bloom to name just a few. My tomatoes have lots of flowers and the basil and Swiss chard are also growing nicely. I also grow chives and rhubarb, but next year I may enlarge my vegetable garden to grow more veggies.

Watering is critical this time of year. You should water your lawn between 3 and 8 a.m., as it is much more efficient and is less likely to cause disease. Actively growing grass needs 1” of water each week. If the weather is really hot the grass will need twice as much water. It is good to keep in mind that if you use an overhead sprinkler on a hot, windy day, up to 40% of the water evaporates. With all the water restrictions these days, this is even more of a reason to water in the morning.

I have a privet hedge lining my driveway. Right now, the flowers are in full bloom and it is full of bees and butterflies. The scent is terrific! The hedge is a bit unruly and overgrown, but I keep telling my husband it is too early to trim it. He is not happy to hear this but the birds and bees are. We will have it trimmed the third week of July when all the blossoms are done. It is a great feeling to know we are helping the pollinators in our neighborhood.

July is deadheading month. Try to get out every day to spend time in your garden checking the flowers and vegetables for spots, discolorations or chewed edges and deadhead. If you cannot manage every day, then at least once a week. 

Deadheading now will keep the plants from going to seed and spreading where they are not wanted. As with your lawn, water flowers and vegetables early in the morning. Wet foliage in the evening invites disease. And do not forget to pull out weeds before they also go to seed.

I love pots of annuals on my patio and in the garden. I water usually once a day to keep them healthy and strong. I try to fertilize with 5-10-5 once a week. Once my petunias and sweet alyssum are done I will cut them back hard as they will bloom again in September. When we go on vacation, I move the annual pots under our sprinkler system so they get daily water. I also try to keep them out of the sun.

Another fun thing I do every summer is to take a large clear round vase, fill it with water, cut some flowers with no stems and put them in the water in the vase so they are floating around. You can color coordinate what you put in the vase or just put in random flowers. These will last a few days and it is quite a conversation piece.

Enjoy the summer of 2024. Our hard work in the spring to get our gardens ready is now paying off. Get outside and enjoy the sounds and scents of your garden! If you are interested in joining the Angle Tree Garden Club, please call our membership Chair Linda Everton at 508-212-1882 for more information.

Kathy McDeed Bessette is the secretary of the Angle Tree Garden Club.

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