A Summer Send-Off
William Shakespeare asked so eloquently, “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”, noting that the qualities of a summer day are subject to change and will eventually diminish. In the sonnet, Shakespeare compares the quality of a summer’s day to that of a young man. As we near the end of August, especially here in our local gardening clime, we have been a little suspect in our summer’s qualities. There have been many a day this summer where our seasonal expectations have not been met. Rain, hail, wind and a few hot days have kept us on our toes in our gardens all summer long. We’ve heard many garden stories of winter dieback, slow growth, disastrous hailstorms, excessive moisture, slug-opolis, pest parades, many mushrooms, weed wars and more this season.
Throughout it all, we must keep persevering in this crazy place that we garden in, as the moments of success can be awesome. As we wind down summer, we don’t have to throw all our efforts away. There is still plenty of time to enjoy our yards and gardens. Harvest has begun by way of flavorful tomatoes and succulent new spuds. Herbs, carrots, berries and cherries, leafy veggies and more have graced many a dish throughout our garden realm. Plants that are starting to look a little tired can be clipped back or tidied up, deadheading should continue, and weeds should be kept at bay to prevent them from producing seed for next year’s troublesome crop. Replace spent annuals with colour’s of fall and with late-season annuals that can withstand cooler temperatures. Fall mums, heathers, ornamental grasses, fall pansies, decorative cabbage and more will soon grace our greenhouses.
Early fall is also a great time to keep planting, we’ve still got a great selection of trees, shrubs and perennials available and sod too! Plan on doing some deep watering of all your new and existing plant materials to help them get ready for their long winter’s night. No one should go to bed thirsty, including our gardens. Water your trees and shrubs in deeply and less frequently as we move closer to fall, this will help them slide into dormancy with ease. Apply mulch to dress up your finished beds, but also to help them retain moisture and keep soil temperatures a little more even through the season.
Enjoy the rest of your summer, and let’s hope for a fall with all of it’s most beautiful qualities!