Summer is here! In the high desert, where we don’t see a lot of rainfall, it’s essential to make sure your plants get enough water – at least 1″ a week, even more if it’s hot and dry (hello Nevada!). You also want to make sure you are watering deeply, which will encourage the plants’ roots to grow deep as well. As a test, you can dig down with a small spade 2-3″ near your plants to ensure the soil is moist and that the plant roots actually got wet. For your potted plants, water them everyday, and possibly twice-a-day if it’s a real scorcher.
Your vegetable garden and annual flowers will need fertilizer again this month, as they produce a lot in one season of growth. Be sure to harvest the produce as soon as it’s ready in order to prevent unwanted pests in your garden. If you planted garlic last fall, it should be just about ready to harvest. You might also be able to start harvesting some early potatoes – check them gently so as not to disturb the plants too much. To extend your garden a little longer this season, be sure to plant your fall crops now (think broccoli raab, chard, lettuce, peas, spinach, etc). Net your fruit trees and berry bushes to deter the birds from eating the ripe fruit before you can get to it. Then, once you’ve harvested your berries, it’s a good time to give them some extra fertilizer. Any later than this and the foliage will continue to grow into the Fall.
Continue deadheading your flowers to extend their life, and prune summer flowering shrubs as they fade to help them store more energy. You might be tempted to plant some new flowers and shrubs, but hold off until the fall if you can. The heat makes transplanting quite stressful for the plants. If you do plant anything, be sure to do it in the early morning or evening while it’s cooler and water thoroughly. Gardening maintenance is a never-ending cycle (don’t forget to pull those pesky weeds!), but you can really start to enjoy all the hard work you’ve put into your yard now, so cheers to that!