During the dog days of summer, there’s plenty to do in the garden. With a bit of planning, you can make the best use of your time by prioritizing what needs to be done. Schedule regular time to check off those chores on your to-do list so that you don’t get overwhelmed.
1 / BE WATER WISE
Creating mulch beds with organic matter helps to suppress weeds and retain moisture. Use drip irrigation when possible and water early or late in the day—particularly when using sprinklers or watering wands—to minimize evaporation.
2 / ADD COLOURFUL CONTAINERS
Keep annual containers looking their best with regular watering, fertilizing and deadheading. In mid-summer, cut back trailing annuals such as petunias and million bells by half and give regular feedings of watersoluble bloom booster fertilizer for a new flush of colour. Replace tired-looking plants with new ones for an updated look.
3 / MIX IT UP
Don’t be afraid to combine edibles with ornamentals. Different coloured lettuces make attractive edging along a pathway. Nasturtiums, with edible flowers that liven up green salads, can be used as container accents, in raised beds, or climbing up a garden trellis.
4 / USE EDIBLES AS ORNAMENTAL ACCENTS
Many new varieties of fruits and vegetables have been bred to perform well in containers, making them a great choice for small decks or patios. Raspberries or blueberries are attractive on their own, but can also be planted in colourful ceramic pots or combined with annuals such as trailing nasturtiums for an extra splash of colour. ◆