Keep your organic garden looking lush and vibrant through the summer months with the EARTH’S ALLY Summer Garden Checklist.
To prevent plants from wilting in the summer, they need quality soil and water. Most plants depend on consistent moisture levels to thrive. That’s why it is so important to water your organic garden early in the morning or late in the evening, especially during the summer months. You’ll want to keep the leaves dry to ensure the water gets to the root system. This helps avoid diseases on the stems and leaves, like burn marks from the sun or fungus and mold from being kept wet.
In areas where the summers are arid, plant drought-resistant species native to the area. Consider refreshing garden areas with gravel, decorative paths, and beds of sun-loving succulents to maintain the vibrancy of your garden without increasing water consumption. You can also try water saving systems like collecting rainwater and utilizing a 'gray water' garden watering system that allow you to reuse water from laundry and bathing to irrigate your garden.
The summer growing season will send your plants shooting up in size. Unfortunately, it does the same thing for less desirable weeds. While what constitutes a 'weed' is a matter of opinion, there are some species you definitely don't want overgrowing in your yard. Keeping weeds out of your organic garden can be complicated.
Herbicides, mulching and pulling weeds are all options. While weeding by hand is the best approach, pulling weeds on a hot summer day is not fun. In an organic garden, it is important to choose an herbicide that is safe and natural. EARTH’S ALLY Natural Weed Killer is powered by Sea Salt and safe for people, pets and the planet. It kills unwanted weeds and grasses down to the roots without using harmful chemicals, like glyphosate.
When covering the ground with mulch to prevent weed growth, edge the border of your garden and keep a two-inch layer of mulch on top of the soil. In an organic garden, you’ll want to avoid dyed and colored mulches and instead choose a natural mulch such as straw, wood chippings or shredded leaves.
Maintaining a healthy layer of mulch around vegetables and fruits is beneficial to the plants in a few ways. Mulch helps enrich the soil, prevent water evaporation, and keep the temperature even, cooling and protecting the roots of your plants from summer extremes.
Heat-tolerant flowers create vibrant, spectacular summer gardens. Some of our favorites are: zinnias, summer snap-dragons (angelonia), lantana, and other sun-loving species. It’s a good idea to “pinch” or prune back perennials and annuals to extend the bloom time. If you live in a zone where frosts have safely passed, summer bulbs like dahlias will add a real dash of color to your garden, while canna and calla lilies will provide elegance and grace.
Use organic techniques like companion planting, physical defenses, and non-chemical repellents to deter insects and small animals that can attack your plants. If you're struggling with pests in your organic garden, EARTH’S ALLY Organic Garden Pest Control is OMRI Listed® for use in organic gardening. It kills and repels spider mites, aphids, whiteflies, mealybugs, leaf rollers and scale with a unique blend of rosemary, clove and peppermint oils. The essential oil formulation leaves no harmful residues and is safe for use around People, Pets & Planet.
Things to Avoid
In your organic garden, avoid toxic products that can harm the environment and friendly pollinators. Here’s a list of our don’ts:
- Glyphosate, a herbicide that is toxic to both humans and animals.
- Inorganic fertilizers like anhydrous ammonia, diammonium phosphate, diammonium superphosphate, and urea.
- Organophosphate-based insecticides like those containing chlorpyrifos or disulfoton.
- Pyrethroids and pyrethrins, botanical insecticides that are poisonous to pets, aquatic life and beneficial insects.