The Q&A Archives: Planting In The Summer....

Question: Hello,

I am a teacher and am off for the summer. I've prepared several large border areas around my home, and am now ready to plant. My it OK to plant a garden in the summer? Are there any restrictions or tips & tricks to being successful at doing this? I would like to plant perennials and shrubs, and some annuals too. Maybe a couple of trees. I'm interested in both tropicals and drought tolerant type plants, as well as the classics.

Thanks so much!

Answer: It is generally recommended that you plant in the spring or the fall when temperatures are cool and rainfall abundant, but if you're careful, you can plant most any time of the year in your gardening region. Most plants suffer some stress when transplanted so if you plant early in the morning or just at dusk, you'll lessen the shock; if you water your newly installed plants well immediately after planting, you'll help settle the soil and prepare them for enduring the summer weather. You may even want to provide some temporary afternoon shade for new transplants, just for a week or two until the roots are established. I've propped up cardboard for just that purpose and I've also driven a few stakes in the ground and attached a screen made from an old sheet. The idea is to shade the plants not to cover them. This will work for perennials and shrubs, but not for trees. The important thing is to water well every 3-4 days during the adjustment period. If you get your new plants off to a good start, they should be just fine. Best wishes with your garden!

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