I'm a low-maintenance-type gardener, so you can bet I don't do a lot of unnecessary fussing in the garden. Here's my bare-minimum list of garden chores I'm taking care of this month - the same list I send to my garden-coaching clients.
- Doing renewal pruning of all my full-grown viburnums - both the doublefile (V. plicatum) and snowball (V. macrocephalem) types. By that I mean removing completely (to as close to the ground as possible) one-third of the stems, targeting the older ones for removal. This will keep the shape natural, while preventing the unsightly drooping that results when the snowball especially gets top-heavy.
- Weeding almost every day, though when temps are in the 90s I stop working at, oh, 8:00 a.m. My top priority is digging out the vines. Note - DIGGING THEM OUT, not just yanking the part that's yankable.
- Watering plants in pots every single day, and almost that often for newly planted or transplanted perennials and shrubs in the garden. For more about watering, see how-to-water basics from last year.
- Cutting back Spiderwort (Tradescantia) and Salvia to remove the dead flowers and encourage rebloom.
- Applying deer spray to a few choice roses and conifers every other week, alternating between Liquid Fence and Deer Stopper (which smells much better) and so far, so good.
- Removing the ratty daffodil foliage, by simply tugging. That's when you know they're okay to remove it - when they're almost done for, anyway.
- Cutting back spireas, to varying degrees. One bridal wreath-type had become a bit too large for its site, so I cut it waaaay back. Hopefully it'll rebloom, but I honestly don't know. Other spireas that aren't too large, I sheer off all the spent flowers, again for the purpose of seeing them rebloom while reducing their size by just a few inches.
My tiny vegetable garden is all in 10 pots on my sunny deck, and this year my summer crops are: three cherry tomatoes, two eggplants, one squash (all purchased as "starts"), and a bunch of herbs. I've already installed the vegetable cages, so what's left to do is water daily, weed as needed, and feed every three weeks with Tomato-tone.