Success in the Garden All Summer Long

Success in the Garden All Summer Long

Posted by Jessie Jacobson on Jun 1st 2023

Success in the Garden All Summer Long

With a few simple steps, your garden will look it's best all season long!

1. Water, Water, Water

Make sure to properly hydrate your newly planted perennials, tress, and shrubs all the way through summer, fall, and even until our first hard frost. 1" of long and deep watering is required to help ensure winter survival. Likewise, it is important to water container gardens and hanging baskets almost daily as the temperatures heat up. A long and thorough soak at the base of the plants is required to keep everything looking fresh. Herb and veggie gardens, if planted in the ground require 1" of water per week. Best practice is to avoid overhead sprinklers and water on the leaves can cause disease issues. A long soaking rain does count towards hydration, but make sure to check the status of your plants by observing their turgor, the weight of the container, and by how the soil actually feels. We all have our own moisture meter, literally right at our fingertips!

2. Fertilize

While you water, you might as well fertilizer too!

Anuals and Containers

We recommend a line-up of Miracle Grow options as an easy, water-soluble fertilizer. Use Mir-Acid for acid loving plants such as petunias and calibrachoa. Use Bloom Booster to encourage off the chart blooms. Fertilize containers and hanging baskets in a sunny exposure at least once per week. Fertilize shade containers and hanging baskets every two weeks. If you are more of a hands-off type of gardener, use a slow-release fertilizer such as Osmocote. Apply 1-2 times per year by mixing granueles into to the top 1-3 inches of soil. As you water, each granule will release nutrients over time.

Perennials, Trees, and Shrubs

Your go-to for fertilizing perennials, trees, and shrubs is Espoma’s Organic Plant Tone. Apply to established perennials once in the spring and once in the fall.


Espoma’s Organic Evergreen Tone is great for all evergreen trees and shrubs which are often forgotten in a gardener’s fertilizing routine.

Vegetables and Herbs

Espoma’s Organic Garden Tone is an all-purpose, organic, slow-release fertilizer suitable for all vegetables and herbs. Mix into the soil at planting and then continue to apply monthly throughout the growing season. Herbs don’t feed as heavily and will only require feeding at the time of planting and after a large harvest. Espoma’s Organic Tomato Tone is designed to feed tomato plants while providing calcium to promote flower and fruit production. Additionally, it provides much needed calcium to promote healthy fruit development.

3. Dead Head

Deadhead spent blooms, pinching back all the way to the stem - petunias, calibrachoas, geraniums, and begonias. Prune and pinch foliage of vining plants to encourage fullness and a shapely appearance - vinca vine, sweet potato vine, ivies. Pinch back taller plant such as coleus to keep their height in check and to create a fuller plant.

4. Divide and Conquer

Cut-back and divide spring and early summer blooming perennials after they are done blooming. Dividing plants reinvigorates overgrown perennials in the garden and also makes more! Perennials to consider dividing mid-summer include peonies, iris, daylilies, salvia, alliums, hostas, ferns, and many more. Check out Transplanting Perennials and How to Split Perennials for all the best information.

5. Plant for Continous Color

Along with their beautiful foliage interest, textured bark, and ornamental berries, perennials produce stunning blooming displays with fantastic color year after year. Think about the progression of the season. Does your garden offer all season color? Look at what’s blooming (or not blooming) right now and think about adding mid and late summer blooming perennials to your garden beds. Keep bloom timing and bloom progression in mind when designing your space, incorporating early, mid, and late season bloomers in the garden to keep things colorful throughout the year! Check out our Continuous Color Chart to get started!

5. Reflect and Relax

Take time to enjoy your garden in all its glory! You will be glad you did!!