Summer will soon start to wind down to make way to the cooler seasons. However, there are still a few things a gardener must do to extend this season and prepare for the next one. The following are some late summer gardening tips to note…
- Time to start raking leaves. Leaves make great compost or mulch as they introduce additional nutrients to the soil that get the microbes in it going. This helps preserve the structure of the soil and rejuvenate it. Be careful not to include black walnut leaves though because the juglone (natural chemical toxin) in them will stop some garden plants from growing.
- Look forward to next spring by planting some bulbs for spring blooms.
- Stop fertilizing late in the summer season to give shrubs, trees and perennials a better chance to harden up before winter comes. By applying fertilizer, you encourage growth which is not advisable late in the season because the plants will be tender and susceptible to cold.
- Divide perennials before September ends. This will allow the transplants to get rooted before winter.
- If you have houseplants brought outside for the summer, inspect them for pests before bringing them back indoors.
- Beans and squash will keep producing well if you keep harvesting.
- For extra harvests, start sowing another batch of spinach or lettuce. These crops are quick to germinate and can extend your harvest season as long as they are protected from light frosts.
- Keep weeding and don’t allow weeds to produce seeds.
- Collect and save seeds for your spring planting or you can direct sow now. If you decide to sow, keep an eye on weather changes especially early frosts. Make sure tender plants are protected with covers like towels and sheets.
These are just some late summer gardening tips to help you prepare for the next season or extend your harvest.