YES, You Can PLANT in Summer!
We all eagerly await the arrival of spring each year, counting the days until that magical “last frost date” in May. The weeks that follow are a frenzy of garden activity. We rush to the garden centre and excitedly plant trees, shrubs, flowers and veggies. But what about the rest of the warm months? If we miss that early window of planting time, are we out of luck until next year? No way! YES, you CAN plant in the summer, and with a few helpful hints, you can be sure that your plants will thrive.
Here are our tips for planting in the hot summer months.
TIP: Choose BIGGER Plants
Summer heat can be intense. Smaller plants with tiny roots may have a tough time drawing enough moisture from the soil. Larger plants with bigger root systems are faster to establish into the garden, and they give that gratifying “instant impact” in the landscape. Annuals in 6 inch pots, perennials in 2 gal pots and shrubs in 3 to 5 gal pots are good choices for your summer planting projects.
TIP: Choose a Cloudy Day
Being planted can be stressful for a plant. Roots get a bit damaged, and it takes energy to recover. Coping with bright sun and intense heat at the same time can make it harder for plants to bounce back from planting. If possible, choose a cloudy day or a cooler evening for planting… it’s easier on the plants, and easier on you, too!
TIP: Amend the Soil
There is no substitute for great soil. It’s where your plants live, and it’s the source of their nutrition and their water. Making a small investment in improving your soil’s texture and moisture retention will go a long way in the quality of your garden! Take the opportunity to add compost or triple mix at planting time for a more successful transplant and better plant health over time.
TIP: Water, Water, Water!
The single most important action you can take when planting in summer is WATERING. It’s easy to underestimate how much water plants will use in the heat of the day, and how much moisture evaporates from the soil. When planting in summer, always be sure that plants are fully soaked BEFORE you begin planting. Then, once planted, water the garden thoroughly. Finally, water the newly planted garden every day for 7-10 days. After that, reduce watering to every 3-4 days until plants are fully established.
TIP: Use Transplant Solution
It sounds like a sales pitch, but it really does make a BIG difference! Using a transplant solution, like Miracle-Gro® Quick Start® Planting & Transplant Solution helps stimulate root growth, to help reduce transplant shock and root stress. It works by providing nutrients that specifically aid in new root development, resulting in a more robust root system much faster than with water alone. It’s easy to use – just add a measured capful to the watering can and water it in as part of your planting routine.
TIP: Use Mulch
Every step you’ve taken before now is made more effective with a layer of mulch! By covering the soil surface, we can reduce the amount of water that is lost to evaporation or run-off. It shades new roots, protecting them from the hot sun. Additionally, a mulch layer helps to prevent weed growth, giving your new plants a jump on the competition and reducing garden maintenance. Natural cedar mulch can help to repel some insects, adds a pleasant scent to the garden, and adds organic material to the soil as it eventually breaks down over time.