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    Six Gardening Tips for Summer

    By By Alisa Rutherford-Fortunati
    July 24, 2013, 10:26:23 AM EDT

    These gardening tips will help your plants survive the summer months, any time you’re facing a drought or a long spell of hot weather. They are simple, straightforward and easy to put into practice.

    1. Fertilize, but don’t overdo it.

    Helping your plants thrive is often a case of proper planning, placement and soil fertility. A strong plant can better withstand the stress of high heat and dry weather. So fertilize the soil well before planting using organic compost and other sustainable stock-free fertilizers. You can also give your plants a boost with liquid fertilizers (like water soluble seaweed powder) a couple of weeks after planting, or in times of stress.

    General tip: While liquid fertilizers are great, it is best not to overuse them. Liquid fertilizers (even organic) feed plants directly instead of supporting the soil food web. The soil food web (simply put) is the network that makes nutrients (already in the soil) available to your plants. It is important to protect and nourish this system with organic matter whenever possible, to ensure long-term soil fertility.


    2. Choose perennials, heat resistant crops or plants with an extensive root system.

    Many annuals have shallow root systems that dry out easily in the heat of summer. By choosing plants with a hardier root system (biennials that produce for two years, perennials, heat resistant crops, etc.) you’ll start your summer garden off on the right foot.

    Pros of heat resistance crops: Less watering = less money spent on water and less work during the heat.

    Pros of planting perennials or biennials: You will be investing in the future of your garden instead of planting for one growing season at a time.

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