20 Mar The Lazy Gardner
So we’ve all been there, spring comes around and you have all these great ideas for the garden. You’re going to get out there to weed, water, prune, and deadhead every day! Your yard is going to be the envy of the neighborhood …then life happens. The weather gets too hot or dry or wet. Mosquitoes flock to you like ants in a syrup factory. All of a sudden the weeds are knee high, all your perennials have gone to seed and those hopes for a beautiful garden have gone out the window. It doesn’t have to be this way.
Here are a few tips to help you maintain a beautiful garden with minimal effort:
1. Mulch, Mulch, Mulch! Put down a 3” barrier of mulch in the early spring while the weather is still cold to smother out weed seeds lying dormant and to maintain proper soil moisture.
2. Top with a layer of pre-emergent such as Granular Preen, and re-apply as directed by label.
3. Plant perennials and woodies in the fall to best establish root systems and reducing their need for water.
4. Densely plant your garden, reducing open spaces for weeds to germinate.
5. Stay away from needy annuals. Choose drought tolerant perennials and shrubs such as Spirea, Sedum, Scabiosa, Grasses, Black-eyed Susans, Daylily, and plants with silver or hairy foliage.
6. Use a slow release fertilizer like Osmocote for maximum performance.
7. Consider a Drip irrigation system to reduce hand watering. With proper planning and a little extra effort early while temperatures are nice, you can have a beautiful garden even during the dog days of summer.