As the summer season will soon be upon us, your fellow gardening enthusiasts at BGI are ready to face the heat! The summer weather can prove to be a difficult time for plants, but we are here to help you prepare for any season. We have answered a 3 common questions that will keep your garden fresh year-round:
Question #1: What are the best flowers to grow in summer months?
As the temperature has increased, you may have noticed that your winter plants are beginning to decline. This is due to the fact that these plants are cool season crops which prefer temperatures below 70 degrees. Warm season crops are ideal for the hotter weather and thrive in temperatures of 65-90 degrees. Plants that are characterized as warm season crops have become more accustomed to warmer climates and are able to thrive in higher temperatures. These crops are best when planted early- to mid-May, once the threat of frost has diminished.
When planting during the summer months, it is important to choose outdoor plants that can withstand high temperatures and increased sunlight exposure. Never fear, there are a multitude of warm season crops that you can plant this month. Vegetables and fruits, such as beans, carrots, cucumbers, peppers, corn, squash, tomatoes, citrus, watermelon, strawberries, raspberries, peaches and melons are all capable of withstanding the dry summer heat. Plants such as calla lilies, tuberous begonias, gladiolus, gardenias, roses, bottlebrush, marigolds, dahlias, baby’s breath, carnations, chrysanthemums, geraniums, rosemary, sunflowers, verbenas and sweet peas also thrive in the summer months.
To help you maintain these summer crops, BGI offers Grow & Gain®, a concentrated all-purpose liquid fertilizer that will help your plants and vegetables flourish. BGI also suggests TOMATOGAIN®, which can be used on all vegetables and many fruits, to provide nutrients and promote growth.
Question #2: How often should I water my plants during the summer?
Most plants should be watered two to three times a week to promote growth. It is important that the soil maintains a moist balance between drenched and dry because jumping to each extreme is damaging to the plants. We suggest that you check the moistness of the soil between watering to protect the soil from becoming completely dry.
Many people are unaware that the time plants are watered can also affect the growth of the garden. Watering plants in the early morning is ideal because it allows water to reach the roots with only a small amount of water lost due to evaporation. If you are unable to water in the morning, plants can also be watered in the late afternoon or early evening, which will keep the water from evaporating while also allowing time for the plants to dry before nightfall.
Question #3: Why does my citrus tree keep dying?
Citrus trees are commonly plagued by the loss of leaves, which is termed leaf drop. This can be caused by inadequate sunlight exposure, insects and incorrect watering. Citrus trees require at least six hours of light each day to maintain healthy growth. Citrus trees are more likely to flourish in full sunlight exposure, so if the citrus tree is inside, try moving the plant outside during the day.
Scales, mites and other insects are a threat to citrus plants because they cause leaf, limb and trunk damage. Monitor your citrus tree and remove insects immediately with water or a small amount of rubbing alcohol.
Citrus trees that are planted in-ground should be watered once a week while potted citrus trees should be watered when the soil begins to dry out. Over or under watering a citrus tree will leave tell-tale signs. Excessive watering will cause the tree’s leaves to turn yellow and fall off. This is caused by the rotting of the root which, in turn, will restrict water intake to the tree. Inadequate watering of a citrus tree will also cause the leaves to fall.
BGI wants to help you keep your citrus tree living up to its full potential. CITRUSGAIN® plant food provides a simple way to maintain the nutrients that citrus trees need to produce high quality fruit.