Summer is a great time for gardening because it provides you with the opportunity to enjoy plenty of sunshine and warm weather. Summer gardening can also provide ample opportunity to cultivate bold, bright blooms, bountiful fruit and vegetable gardens or lush greenery in a raised garden bed.
However, summer is also a season of pests and unpredictable weather. As such, summer gardening tips for older adults are as much about safety as they are about some tricks to cultivate the garden of your dreams.
Some plants grow better than others in warmer weather, so opt for those that thrive in the heat. You'll also want to set up your garden according to your physical capability. If you struggle with mobility, a traditional in-ground garden might be physically challenging. Consider a raised garden bed or container garden instead.
If you want flexibility in terms of indoor or outdoor gardening, consider a container garden. There are many options to plan, execute and cultivate a summer garden, and they can all be tailored to your individual whims and capabilities.
Remember, summer gardening is meant to be fun, so structure your garden in a way that lets you be physically comfortable and fits your space. Gardening is even possible for those choosing to make a home in an assisted living apartment!
In Fort Collins, Texas, temperatures during summer swell significantly, so plan to get out early in the morning or late in the day. Do most of your watering in the morning before it gets hot to ensure your plants can absorb the moisture.
Hydrate as much as possible, wear sunscreen and clothing to fully cover your skin and take frequent breaks. It's very easy to get overworked outside, which can lead to heat-related issues. If you don't make it out to your garden early in the morning, wait until the late evening hours when the temperatures start to fall and it becomes more bearable outside.
Keeping garden soil moist during the hot summer months is more important than any other time of the year because the stronger sunlight and constant heat make it hard for your plants to stay hydrated. When you water plants, do so on a schedule that keeps the soil moist at all times.
If you have an outdoor garden, summer rains might provide you with assistance. A good rule of thumb for summer gardening is to pay attention to each plant. They will tell you what they need, and each one might have different watering parameters.
Summertime gardening means sharing space with a variety of pests. In-ground gardens might court small critters and snakes while raised garden beds might invite ants or other insects.
Be on the lookout for pests when gardening to avoid coming into contact with anything dangerous. The best time to get rid of any pests is in the morning when they are still somewhat groggy from the night before.
You can either use a very mild soapy solution to get them off or one of the many products available to combat this issue in your garden.
Try to avoid gardening in direct sunlight. It's not good for you, and it's not good for your plants. While some plants thrive on sunlight, the strong, harsh rays of the summer sun are not good for you or them. Look for spots that have plenty of sunlight and some shade options. The last thing you want is for the harsh summer sun to burn your plant leaves (or your skin!) because of direct exposure.
Because it's so hot outside during the summer, your plants could use some extra reinforcement. Feed them routinely to give them an extra dose of nutrients and shore them up to stand against the higher temperatures and strong summer sun. You can use traditional plant foods that are easily found at big hardware stores, but you may want to focus on natural or organic options for fruits and vegetables.
If you have an in-ground garden, consider using mulch around it to help retain the moisture in the soil. This keeps the weeds at bay and helps contain the moisture added to the soil by watering. Mulch helps your garden function better and looks nice when you choose a material that complements your physical garden space.
Summer gardening is a great way to spend time outdoors while also getting in some physical activity. While there are many benefits to a summer garden, and sometimes quite a bounty to be had, it is equally important to stay safe while cultivating one.
Consider these summer gardening tips to ensure a successful harvest or bloom and to safeguard your general wellness.