Your Summer Plant Source

Sutton Quantum

Your Summer Plant Source

No matter how skilled you are at gardening, it is without a doubt a labour of love. With these tips and suggestions, your garden will be vibrant, beautiful, and will appear to it's best advantage while keeping stress to a minimum. No matter how green your thumb is, follow these steps and your garden will get a thumbs up!

Garden Preparation

Gardening is as much an art as it is a science, and for an inexperienced gardener it can be difficult to know where to begin. Consider this a crash course in Gardening 101!

  • Spring clean -Your garden is an extension of your home, and it requires the same TLC and maintenance at the start of the season. Make sure to clear away dead twigs, leaves and debris that may have gathered over winter and rake the plant beds to scope out any weeds that may be growing there.
  • Compost -After you’ve tidied the garden, you’ll have a starting point for a compost bin. Using the natural waste you gathered in the previous step, get a bin and mix it in with grass, vegetable peels, paper and wood. A compost bin will be a major benefit to your plants!
  • Fertilize - Generally speaking, your lawn is going to need some serious attention after a cold winter with little sunlight. Many people are surprised to learn that the state of the grass is critical in securing a successful bloom during spring and summer, so fertilizing your lawn will keep it vibrant and prevent weeds from taking over. Make sure to fertilize when the soil is moist or when you’ll be expecting rain.
  • Prep Your Soil - Dig up your soil, turn it over, and cover it in the same hole. This is called cultivating, and will help your plants thrive by fully refreshing your soil and creating aeration. If you’d like to take your garden to the next level, try building raised beds which will put plants in easy reach and separate them from any surrounding weeds.  
  • Make A Plan - It can be easy to let your imagination run away with you, so try to map out how you see the final product if your garden. Do you want to plant vegetables? Herbs? Flowers? Take a stroll around your neighbourhood to see what looks good and what kinds of plants thrive, and don’t be afraid to ask for help at a garden centre.

Easy To Care For Plants

Even for experienced gardeners, keeping certain plants alive and well is a major challenge. With these easy to care for plants, you’ll save yourself unnecessary stress and give yourself more time to enjoy the beautiful blooms.

  • Itoh Peony -These pink beauties may look high-maintenance, but they’re anything but! Peonies outlive many other flowering plants, and all they really need is good organic mulch. Their sweet scent and large blossoms make a welcome addition to any summer garden.
  • Lenten Rose -As soon as you see this flower’s ivory petals, summer is soon to follow! This plant is dainty but hardy, and rarely gives gardeners any problems.
  • Balboa Sunset Trumpet Vine - Call this plant Miss Independent, because it requires next to no care at all. Left to its own devices, this plant will vine around a fence in a waterfall of bright orange blooms, but it can get out of control fairly quickly.
  • Lavender -Native to the sweltering Mediterranean and Middle East, it’s no surprise that lavender can withstand even the most sweltering summers. If you prune it right away and provide good drainage, your lavender will not disappoint.
  • Petunias -These peppy blooms are a staple in many home gardens, in part because they come in a variety of bold colours but also because they are so versatile and easy to grow. They can thrive in pots and hanging baskets, but for optimal growth plant them straight into the ground in June.
  • Jasmine -Jasmine’s heady fragrance is adored by many, but what’s great about it is that it barely requires watering except for in a particularly dry spell. Certain types are quite resistant to our harsh winters as well, which is a bonus.

Mosquito Repellant Plants

The pessimists among us will say that in Southern Ontario we have only two seasons - eight months of winter, and four months of mosquito season - but a little knowledge of bug-repellent plants will let you make the most of this short season!

  • Citronella -If there is one true, distinct scent of summer, citronella grass may be it. Citronella scented candles and sprays have long been a fan-favourite for their ability to ward off mosquitos and other pests, but the living plant is more effective than these at repelling bugs, and is low-maintenance and easy to grow. Citronella does best in large planters in sunny areas.
  • Scented Geraniums -Geraniums are beautiful summer blooms, and their strong scent is so similar to citronella grass that it has the same effect of repelling unwanted bugs. These plants grow quickly and favour warm, sunny and dry conditions, but can also do well in planters with constant pruning.
  • Lavender -Known for its heavenly fragrance which comes from its essential oils found on the leaves, lavender repels mosquitos and even hinders their sense of smell. It may look delicate, but lavender is tough and hardy, requiring only full sun and good drainage to thrive.
  • Marigolds -If you haven’t already been sold on marigolds for their bright and cheery demeanor, you’ll love them for the fact that their subtle scent deters mosquitos, aphids, thrips, squash bugs and tomato hornworms. Marigolds make an excellent addition to vegetable gardens and garden borders or in pots on their own, and they are easy to grow and maintain.
  • Catnip -Catnip is the surprising Type-A multitasker of the plant world, but one of its best-kept secrets is the fact that it is an excellent bug repellant. In a study by Iowa State University, catnip was found to be ten times more effective than DEET, the manufactured chemical found in most bug repellants! A member of the mint family, catnip is easy to care for but may take over your garden if not contained.
  • Basil -Basil’s sharp, familiar scent is a staple in many kitchens, but the pungent aroma is great for keeping bugs at bay. Keep your basil in an environment with good drainage and plenty of sun. You can grow basil in containers or in a garden and even with other plants, as long as they both meet the same conditions to thrive.
  • Rosemary -Rosemary is another “double-agent” herb that can be used both for cooking and as a mosquito, cabbage moth, and carrot fly repellant. Rosemary does well in heat and thrives in containers, but you can easily prune it into decorative shapes and sizes to add creative flair to your garden.
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