Planting in Summer

A common misconception is that you shouldn’t plant in the summer – but in fact, yes, you can!

As long as you can commit to watering.

Summer’s longer days and sunlight can actually be beneficial to plants. Summer days allow for photosynthesis, enabling continued growth and maturity for established and new plants. It’s also a great time to see your garden in full swing and view voids in space and bloom timing. Visiting garden centers habitually allows you to see what stock is coming into season and how that plant can provide something exciting to look forward to!

Yes, summer is typically a dry season, but spending quality time watering is beneficial not only for your plants, but your own mental health. Being present with your plants helps form a connection to what’s really going on; spotting all kinds of problems early – where a sprinkler system might otherwise miss. Water containers, hanging baskets, vegetable and flower gardens in the morning and always check moisture content by feeling with your finger 1-2” deep or by weight if you gently tilt a container or lift a basket up. Items like soaker hoses and watering wands allow you to modulate how much water comes out avoiding mess and easing the ergonomics of hard to reach areas.

Homeowners should feel confident that planting new things in Summer is A-okay with these easy steps:
  1. Plant new plants towards the end of the day; after the strongest sun has passed, so roots have the night to settle and absorb water.

  2. Before you begin any work, make sure plants have been thoroughly watered while in their store-pots. You do not want to plant “dry” plants.

  3. Dig your holes and set plants in place. Once moistened-plants are set in the hole, back-fill 60-80% and water the area.

  4. Fill in the remaining soil ensuring all of the root system has been covered. If the soil from the original pot is visible/exposed, it will dry out faster. Cover the top of the soil from the pot with a light layer of mulch. Mulch not only regulates soil temps, but it deflects the sun and helps the soil retain moisture, while reducing weeds significantly. It is night and day between watering requirements between plants that are and are not mulched.

  5. Build a small berm or mounded circle around your plantings. When watering, fill the berm to the top and it will easily hold an extra 1-3” of water, ensuring your plants get a deep drink each time, and prevent the water from running off.

  6. Stay on top of watering larger plants every 2-3 days and check perennials by looking at the leaves (are they droopy?) or by sticking your finger in the ground to get a read on moisture. If it feels dry 1.5-2” down, water. During HOT weeks, you may need to water more frequently.

For more in-depth information, check out our Watering Guidelines.

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