As our weather heats up, there are a few plants in the garden that won't fare so well. Many of the plants that do great in cooler weather just can't take the heat.
As these plants bolt, wilt, and die back, they should be pulled out and replaced with ones that can handle the warmer temperatures. Distressed plants are magnets for garden pests, so it's better to pull them before they turn into aphid farms.
There are a number of vegetables that will do well through our summers, including summer squashes, tomatoes, peppers, corn, beans, onions, okra, and eggplant. Tomatoes and peppers do better from transplants this late in the season, but the rest can easily be grown from seed. Tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant may not produce fruit this summer if planted from seed this late, but if you can get through the summer, they will be ready to go when the temperatures cool down again.
Make sure to give your plants room to grow, especially the squash, peppers, tomatoes, and eggplant. If you'd like to grow corn, you'll want to grow a bunch of it to ensure that it will be fully pollinated by the wind. If transplanting, water daily for the first week or two to allow the plants to establish themselves. For seeds, keep moist through germination.
It also will be helpful to add some flowers to your garden. Sunflowers make great bait for garden pests, as well as providing a distraction for birds and intermittant shade. Marigolds help ward off some garden pests. Planting a flat or two of any type of flower will help attract pollinators to your garden, but planting a few different varieties will add color and help attract different kinds of pollinators.
While you are replanting your garden, it might be a good idea to add some slow-release fertilizer or worm castings to enrich your soil. Adding a layer of mulch around your plants will help to retain moisture and keep weeds at bay.
It is also important to check the moisture levels in your garden regularly and adjust your watering schedule accordingly.
It is best to water slowly to let the water soak down to the roots. Watering deeply but infrequently will help prevent root rot and blossom end rot.
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