Summer solstice, the longest day of the whole year!
Also marks the beginning of one of my favorite seasons. Hooray!! It’s officially summertime!
So, I have a lot to look forward to in my little garden during the summer. Loads of sweet tasty cherry tomatoes that I love to eat by the bunch. All of those crisp and juicy homegrown cucumbers. Loads of lettuce for a tasty fresh picked salad each and every night. Ooooh, I’m so excited about summer for the simple fact that I get to enjoy all of the hard work that I put into my tiny patch of dirt. The long days of summer, those extra hot and humid days coupled with thunderstorms and sweaty steamy nights make for instant garden success.
But alas, there are also drawbacks to the upcoming change in weather.
My biggest challenges of growing a food garden happen in heat of the summer. Let me share my top 3 summer gardening fails with you:
- Not Watering Enough
Every year, I tell myself that I am going to water the garden on a schedule, and stick to it. And every year, I come up short on this goal. The sun blasts away any moisture that is left in the soil and the plants instantly get droopy and sometimes burn! This year, I am going to put a real effort into the watering schedule to avoid garden burn-out. My advice to you, don’t skip out on watering, especially when you know its going to be a scorcher out there!
2. Accidental Neglect
Okay, so its summertime and there are so many more things to do. More parties with friends, more family gatherings, more festivals, more concerts…you get the idea. And inevitably, due to time spent elsewhere… on short weekend jaunts, or other general summer activities (beach time!)…the garden suffers. Insert sad face here.
Some years I got lucky, and neglecting the garden while I frolicked in the summer sun worked in my favor. I had a jungle in my yard, but that jungle was filled with food! But the reality is that most years, accidentally neglecting the garden did NOT work in my favor. The garden took some really hard hits and it took a lot of serious nurturing to fix. So don’t follow in my footsteps- make time for your garden and keep the maintenance schedule.
Pull those weeds, trim those tomato vines, pull the veggies off of the vines when they are ready. The end result will be a wonderful food producing garden that is also visually appealing and easier to maintain. It’s harder to do the work of taming a jungle, than to just do the required maintenance up front.
Yes, overwatering. I was guilty of this gardening mistake as well.
Turn on the soaker hose, wait around for a while to make sure the garden is getting watered, then walk away for “just a minute”, and life’s distractions keep you busy for closer to a half-hour. Ooops!
Too much water can seriously damage your plants. In my case, I practically drowned my garden after one of the hottest days of the year and ended up with wilted tomato plants with buds that didn’t open. Word to the wise, be aware of how much water you are using and don’t over do it because water logged roots will wreck the progression of your garden.
Now that we are stepping into the summer season, it will be a struggle to for me to avoid these bad habits. I have a feeling that keeping track of the garden with this blog will help me to keep my commitments to garden this year.