Do you do to-do lists? I do. They help keep me focused and organized. And boy is it satisfying to check things off. But this time of year, I have another list, a summer What Not To-Do List for my garden. This keeps me from serious missteps which can harm plants or waste time and money.
First on my What Not To-Do List is planting. It’s just too hot and dry for plants to establish well. Spring and fall are your best planting times. Be wise and wait. I know there are plant bargains to be had now. As a career tightwad I’m tempted, too. Don’t succumb.
Don’t: Dig or Divide
No digging and dividing either. Most plants prefer to have this done in spring or fall so they can settle in and develop robust roots before extreme weather. So step away from that shovel. If you do plant or divide plants in summer you will need to water, water and water again, a significant time drain. And still, your plants will be stressed. Very stressed.
Third on my What Not To-Do List is pruning. Trees hate to be pruned in summer. They weep copious sap and those wounds attract the abundant insects and diseases afoot now. Summer pruning courts disaster. Instead, prune trees in the dormant season – January to mid-March – when they are less vulnerable.Continue reading