Gardening Vivian | 28 Nov 2010 11:26 am

Frugal Gardner’s Late Summer Garden Tips

Is your garden worn out, tired and seen better days? If your outdoor living space has become a dried flowered paradise then keep reading for some frugal tips to get your paradise back into shape in time for fall.

Gardens, no matter how they are designed always have periods of what I call lull blooms. In late summer you can have some blooms but you probably feel like you would like somehow to get a little more. Right now it feels, because it is, overgrown with ratty leaves and annuals that have become tall and spindly. The lawn has brown or thinned spots but don’t despair. Here are some frugal tips to fix these garden problems.

Cutting back your perennials will stimulate new growth. Cut them back by 1/2 or 3/4ths. This will stimulate your second round of blooms or at the very least fresh growth. This also serves to manicure your overgrown flower beds. Be sure to keep your cutting for your mulch bin or simple work them into the soil around the plant you just cut back to start mulching on the spot. This puts organic matter into the soil which helps return moisture and nutrients to the root system of your prized plants.

It’s safe to cut off any brown foliage from any of your plants or flowering bulbs at this time. Brown foliage isn’t doing anything for your plants and it can be unsightly. If you trim your roses be sure to discard the rosewood and leaves to the trash and not the mulch bin. They often have pests or mold and it’s best to discard their cuttings.

If you have a pest problem, dust, trap or spray the problem plants as soon as you have identified the nature of the pest and problem. Your local nursery can give you the best advice for dealing with it organically, physically or with pesticide. You want the best advice you can get because the goal here is to ensure you don’t harm to the beneficial bugs. Especially the bees.

Annuals that you may have in window boxes, hanging baskets, potted planters or even as edge plantings should be cut back aggressively for them to bloom a second time for you. Use a water soluble fertilizer on them. This trick will give them what they need to perk up quickly.

If your lawn has developed some dry spots, apply dry leaves or peat moss to the affected area and water frequently for about a week in addition to natural rain. If you have any leftover grass seed you can also mix that with the leaves and peat moss. Consistent watering will help your seeds to germinate and take root quickly.

A late summer garden can be brought back into living color if your willing to try these frugal garden tips. Enjoy your beautiful autumn garden paradise.

written by Tana Brown

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