Warm Days, Humid Nights, and No Frost! Check out my handy Summer Garden Checklist and check-off your summer garden maintenance tasks.

For Your Flower Garden:

  • Prolong blooming with regular deadheading.
  • Prune spring-flowering shrubs as lilacs.
  • Keep the garden as weed-free as you can, taking special care to remove weeds before they produce seeds.
  • Fertilize perennials about once every four weeks but only until midsummer.
  • Support plants with stakes or trellises as necessary.
  • Water and fertilize containers and arrange to have them looked after if you go on vacation. Use responsible watering practices to avoid waste and to make plants more drought-tolerant. Do some troubleshooting to figure out why certain plants are struggling.
  • Look for ways to keep your yard cool, such as planting a shade tree or adding a water feature. Cut flowers and bring them indoors to enjoy.
  • Watch for signs of insects and take steps to control them.
  • Examine your plants for diseases and treat or discard the plants or parts of them as necessary.

For Your Vegetable Garden:

  • Harvest early crops such as radishes and lettuce and keep harvesting to encourage production.
  • Use techniques such as succession planting and intercropping to make the most of your garden space. Maintain your vegetable garden by thinning seedlings, weeding, watering, and fertilizing.
  • Protect your crops from damage by making the garden unattractive to animals.

For Your Lawn:

  • Minimize summer stress with proper mowing, little or no fertilizer, and regular watering. Look for signs of chinch bugs and grubs and treat as necessary.
  • Stay on top of your weeding, being sure to remove weeds before they set seeds.

Frank Ferragine AKA “Frankie Flowers” is an award winning gardening expert and “weather specialist” on City’s morning show Breakfast Television in Toronto.

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