While the actual process of planting-dig a hole, put in a seed or plant, fill the hole-is the same in summer as in spring, there are a few tips that can help your summer planting be successful. The long, hot and often dry days of summer mean that you need to put special care into the planting process by considering what time of day is best to plant, how often to water and how to feed and protect your new plants as they establish themselves in your summer garden.
Plant later in the day, in the later afternoon or evening. The hot summer sun is great for established plants, but for one just put in the ground, a full day of intense sun and heat can be too much, too soon. Planting later in the day, when the sun is about to set, gives the plant overnight to settle in before meeting the summer sun.
Watering is important any time of year when you plant, but especially so when you plant in the summer. Whether you're planting seeds, a small garden herb seedling, a perennial shrub, a tree or a set of annual flowers, you need to provide a good drink when you water-the ground all around the plant should be soaked-and again in the following days when it is hot and dry. Keep a close eye on things for at least the first two weeks, and water at the end of the day. Once the plant is a bit more established, you can back off watering to about once a week when it doesn't rain.
Increase survival rate and boost growth of plants by feeding them with the appropriate fertilizer for the plant type. A good dose of plant food will help them catch up with their spring-planted buddies and keep growing and blooming through the heat of summer. Fish emulsion, bone meal and blood meal are all good nontoxic fertilizers that will benefit almost any plant. For more specific fertilizing instructions, ask at your local nursery about fertilizing for your specific plants.
Summer is a time of lawn mowers and weed trimmers. For newly established plants, those powerful pieces of equipment mean one thing: danger. Even if the user sees a new plant, it's easy to get a little too close with a weed trimmer and break a stem or strip off bark. Protect your summertime plants by marking off a little territory around them; a circle of bricks or landscaping stones or a few pieces of trellis stuck in the ground is sufficient. Once the plant has grown to a sturdy size, you can remove the barrier.