The end of summer is fast approaching but that doesn’t mean your garden is ready to rest — especially if you don’t want to spend a fortune re-doing your lawn this spring. If you’re one of the many people who want to make the most of the warm weather, there are a few things you can do to drag it out for as long as possible.
Here are some of the best ways to enjoy the end of summer — and stay safe while doing it.
Find fall plants you love
Now that warm weather is fading from the air, that means it’s time to start planting cold-weather vegetables. Not only will you love eating food from your own garden, but you will also enjoy the extra money you saved by growing it yourself. Cool-weather vegetables are just as fun to grow as the summer headliners we all love. Invest in hardy vegetables like cabbage and potatoes to start your fall collection.
It’s recommended that you begin the germination process indoors before moving your plants outdoors. This will offer the perfect growing environment so they won’t get burned up by the sun’s hot rays. After all, these plants are used to the short days associated with fall. Now that August has arrived, it’s time to start preparing your Brussel sprouts and kale. Most home gardeners love the unique taste of these veggies after they experience the first frost of the season.
Plant for spring
Just because summer is ending doesn’t mean that there isn’t work to do! If you’re not a fan of fall farming, there are many gorgeous bulbs and flowers that you can plant in preparation for spring. In fact, many of these popular flower varieties start to sell out around this time of year, so right now is the perfect time to look for fragrant flowers like tulips and hyacinth.
If you’re stuck trying to choose which plant options are best for your lawn, don’t hesitate to look at local varieties. In fact, more than 92% of homeowners are looking to plant native varieties to help their lawn.
But don’t forget to prep
No matter what, your garden will fail if you don’t prepare for the cold weather. This includes cutting back your hedges and bushes, cleaning all your equipment before they’re stored for winter, and protecting your garden with the necessary coverings. After all, metal corrosion costs the U.S. economy almost $300 billion each year. Taking the proper preventative measures is increasingly necessary if you live in a particularly cold region. If you’re on a budget, even old, clean shower curtains and plastic tablecloths are great options to protect gardens and reduce moisture levels in your shed.
You should also be sure to cover any wells and perform the proper maintenance on the features of your lawn. Though the first wells were used more than 8,000 years ago, that doesn’t mean you can shirk modern care when you want these features to last. Contact your local lawn maintenance company for helpful tips and tricks when you want your green thumb to extend to your entire lawn.
Watch for ticks and other gardening grievances
This year has been one of the worst years for ticks on record. As such, we can expect these pesky pests to persist into the early days of fall. Every time you go out to garden near bushes, pets, or tall grass, be sure to wear full-coverage clothing and bug spray to deter ticks.
Ticks are notoriously hard to remove and must be done with a pair of quality tweezers. Otherwise, you might leave the head of the tick lodged in your skin. Worse yet, a single tick bite could lead to the contraction of harmful infections like Lyme disease. When it comes to saving yourself a trip to the urgent care center, avoiding ticks from the start is your best option.
But it isn’t just pests you have to worry about; poison ivy is found in every state in the continental U.S. and more than 85% of people are allergic to this plant. While experienced gardeners are adept at avoiding it while outdoors, greenhorn agriculturalists might not recognize it as easily. Be sure to wear the proper coverage when outdoors and do some research to spot this plant in the future.
Thankfully, vaccines have been saving lives for over 300 years and are still around today. Talk to a medical professional if you or anyone in your family is in need of treatment.
Don’t be alarmed by end-of-season decay
While everyone loves the beauty that comes with auburn leaves of fall, countless people become stressed when the dreaded mushroom caps start turning up on their lawn. Mushrooms can bloom from the debris in the sod that you’re using to prepare for spring. More often than not, however, these foreign-seeming fungi will come out at the end of the summer season to feed on the dying plant matter in your lawn. Even though they might be unsightly, there’s nothing to worry about unless you fear that your pets will ingest potentially harmful varieties. Try fencing off that section of your lawn or invest in an environmentally friendly herbicide to counteract fungi growth.
These are just some of the ways you can keep gardening all year long. Whether you’re trying to save some money or enjoy your hobby for as long as possible, try these tips to stop your green thumb from going black.