late summer garden

Has your late summer garden seen better days? If your outdoor paradise is getting a little ragged, and you would like some easy and cheap gardening tips to get it back into shape in time for fall, keep reading!

Most gardens, no matter how well they are designed will have periods without a lot of bloom. But a late summer garden is more than just lack of bloom; it’s overgrown plants, ratty leaves, spindly annuals and brown spots in the lawn. Here’s how to fix these garden problems.

Cut back your blooming perennials by half. This will stimulate new growth, and create need for another flush of flowers in the fall for many varieties. It will also clean up the overgrown look of your flower beds.

If you still have brown foliage from spring bulbs showing, it is safe to cut them to the ground now. They have already stored all the energy they need for spring bloom, and the dead plant matter isn’t doing anything for the look of your garden.

If you have a pest problem, you should be addressing it. You can use commercially available Sevin dust for many of the most common predators, or seek out an organic alternative. One good way to identify what is eating your plants is place a piece of white paper under the leaves of the plant being attached and give the plant a good tap or shake. Whatever pest is the culprit should fall onto the paper for easy identification. If you’re stumped, pop it in a jar and take it to your local nursery for identification and advice on how to eradicate it while doing the least damage to beneficial bugs. Remember, we need those bees! Don’t’ poison them.

If you have annuals planted in containers or beds that have seen better days, cut them back hard. Apply a good dose of water soluble fertilizer and they will bounce back and start re-blooming for you. Petunias, alyssum and geraniums all need a good rejuvenation this time of year, but will bloom well into fall if you try this trick.

If your lawn has developed some dry spots, try raking in an organic compost or fine bark to protect the soil and hold in moisture. Water frequently during the day for a week or two until you start to see new green growth. Cut back on the watering gradually, but be consistent until the lawn is once again green in the spot.

A late summer garden may seem to have gone to sleep, but its pretty easy to throw a big basket of water on it and wake it back up. (Both literally, and figuratively!) Use these easy and cheap gardening tips to renew your garden, and have a beautiful spot to spend those quiet autumn afternoons.

Visit Kathy for more home and garden ideas at http://www.TheBudgetDecorator.com.

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