With summer approaching, now is the time to plan for long, hot days and adding more fertilizer to support the herbs for the last part of the growing season. If you make a simple manure tea or use a fish emulsion, you can increase your herb production right when the plants seem to need the extra boost.
Most fertilizers will last only about sixty days before washing away so by now your soil needs that extra attention. If you have been pinching and using your herbs, the plants are putting all their energy into forming more stems and leaves so they also need that extra food that a little fertilizer will offer.
Watering During VacationSummer is also when many families go away for vacation. This may mean that gardens suffer due to lack of proper water. After watering thoroughly right before departing, make arrangements to have your herb gardens watered in one of these ways:
- Have a trusted neighbor or friend come and water on a set schedule. If you have container gardens or raised beds, be sure to water more often than an in ground garden.
- Use a watering technique that is easy to set up and works great! Use a cotton rope, twirl it around the plants(under the mulch) and place one end in a gallon jug of water. The cotton rope will act as a wick and draw up water as the soil dries out. You may still need to ask a neighbor to fill the gallon jug if you are gone longer than a week or it is considerably hot and dry in your area.
- Set up automatic watering using timers and hoses. This is not as difficult as it sounds. There are set ups available at any gardening center that will attach to a hose spigot and permeable drip hoses. You set the timer to water just what you want, when you need it. By placing these drip hoses under mulch, you will actually use less water by keeping an even amount of water available at all times with no water runoff.
My Garden Notebook In SummerYour garden notebook should be filling with summer issues now. Do you have a pest or disease problem? Draw a picture of the offender to remind yourself of how it looks to you. Write down what it attacked and how you controlled it. Write any unusual weather you experience. Sometimes, you can track a disease problems using clues from the weather. Most importantly, write down how much herbs you are harvesting! It is great to look back and remember the bouquet of lavender you picked or the dill you cut to make pickles with.
With a little bit of preparation, you can enjoy the summer gardening season with little stress to yourself or your herbs.