Planting in Summer
Planting is summer is not the most brilliant idea, it has all sorts of
problems that we'll review here. BUT, it has some advantages. The
advantages include getting another full years growth that you'd miss if
you wait until the next winter.
Disadvantages may not even apply to you. If you're in town and have an
automatic irrigation system most of these negative points are
The ground is hard. Now, city folks think they know hard ground; maybe,
where you park the car on the lawn can be as hard as the rural soil can
be. Watering the area a few days before you plant can help with
planting. Check before you buy the plants to see if you can get a shovel
into the ground.
Now, city folks have some gophers. In the country we have deer,
chipmunks, wood rats, squirrels, etc. and gophers. If you're in town it
is probably not an issue. In the country they will eat anything that is
green or watered. So if you plant in a rural area and do not fence or
cage everything until maybe December, the critters will eat your plants.
Even the birds have eaten some of the plants. Vegetable gardens here
require ammo and a fort. (But, it's usually more like F-Troop in
Fort Courage defending a tomato.)
The soil is dry. You have to water a lot to rehydrate it so new plants
can survive. The soil may be so dry that it's hydrophobic. You may need
to water it with a low volume sprinkler for 24 hours before it will even
be ready for planting, and then another heavy watering after. Check
with a shovel! Dig a hole like you were going to plant the plant. If it
takes a day to dig one hole, that means you'll need to pre-water. If you
put a sprinkler out there and water for 3 hours and the soil only got
wet down a scratch, get a lower volume sprinkler and go long. DO NOT
WORK WET SOIL. if you pre-water, wait until it dries out a little. Water
to a depth of 2 feet after you've planted. and mulch with the right
mulch. NO DRIP irrigation!!!!!! If it doesn't kill the natives outright,
they'll be much more likely to be eaten and much more short lived. Use a
sprinkler, micro/mini/spray/rotator. Just think DRIP DEAD!
Late spring and summer is also when the big hat ladies show up.
Now there are some folks that are called big hat ladies, or the beige
gang, or call themselves masters of the garden and are part of some team
of elite garden experts that think about blues, yellows and
textures. If one of them show up in your garden in summer, give them a
shovel, they'll usually leave. We've found the shovel to be a very useful tool in the
garden. (Sorry, we had a few to many show
up this week.)
Most landscape contractors are going to do most of their work in summer.
With no extra water many native plants go summer deciduous.
Many coastal gardens are wonderful to work in in the summer.