Ideas & Inspiration

10 Ways to Refresh Your Garden in Summer

Pot up Pretty Annuals
Colorful annuals in pots on a deck

Some early bloomers will flag in mid-summer and you may need to liven up containers. Bring some fresh blasts of color by potting up sun-loving annuals, such as zinnias, calibrachoas, petunias, geraniums, New Guinea impatiens and coleus.

Coleus is a colorful annual in all but the mildest climates. Find out more about colorful coleus with its fine foliage.

Plant Heat Hardy Perennials
Colorful perennials in a flower bed

If you’re digging in the garden, refreshing containers, window boxes or hanging baskets, make sure to add tough-as-nails blooms and foliage that can beat the heat in summer.

Look for plant tags that say "drought-resistant" and "heat-tolerant" when seeking ideas for planting. For starters, consider coreopsis, black-eyed Susans, coneflowers, cannas, daylilies and more.

These flowering plants will save you time because they require little maintenance. Just water regularly.

Check out more worry-free plants.

Take Down Weeds
Gardener uses a weeding tool

Get your weeds under control by taking steps now so they don’t gain ground. Weeds can crowd out your flowers and foliage and steal nutrients from them. One of the best organic ways to rid your garden of weeds is just to pull them either with weeder tools or by hand.

You can also cover with a layer of mulch or read our story for more ways to whack weeds.

Layer of Mulch
Gardener spreading mulch in a flower bed

When the garden starts to look run down by the heat, add a fresh layer of mulch. It helps plants remain healthy and retain water with the added benefit of helping to keep down weeds.

Spread a 2-inch layer of fresh mulch between plants. Increase to 3 inches around the edge of bed.

Read more about mulch and use organic mulch options around edibles.

Prune & Pluck
Gardener pruning pink flowers

Now is the perfect time to prune, snip and deadhead spent flowers to encourage more growth. In your garden of edibles, remove dead stems from veggies such as peppers, zucchini, beans and tomatoes.

Check over your tomato plants and look for new growth between the main stem and branches and remove these “suckers,” giving a boost to the healthier stems so the plant produces more fruit. Just be sure to prune tomato plants early in the morning on a dry day.

Clear Debris in Beds
Flower bed with annuals and garden tools

Do a quick cleaning in your garden beds. Rake away debris, pull up dead or unhealthy plants and fill up any holes in your garden beds with compost around plants.

Get Rid of Pests
Insects under leaf

Don’t let pests gain ground in the garden. Inspect your plants, edibles, blooms and shrubs for signs of damage and treat according to the specific pest. On edibles, be sure to use an organic insecticidal soap, neem oil or other option.

Not sure what’s bugging your garden? Use our pest problem solver tool and get to the bottom of it.

Edge and Trim
Gardener trimming weeds

Appearances are everything in your garden. Tidy up and use a string trimmer or edger to cut grass around shrubs, trees, raised garden beds and borders.

Check your garden for dead limbs on trees and shrubs and prune and trim those for a fresh look.

Stay on Top of the Harvest
Gardener harvesting radishes in a raised bed

Snip off herbs for grilling, cooking or preserving. Pick ripe tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, zucchini and other edibles growing in raised beds or containers.

When you pick your edibles and herbs, it helps the plant restore its energy and stimulates growth. When you see plants like basil flower (it's called bolting), pinch back the blooms. When you keep basil from bolting during the hottest parts of summer, you keep the harvest going longer.

Fix Brown Patches in Your Lawn
Repairing brown patches in a lawn

Once you’ve given your garden some attention, check out your lawn. Foot traffic, drought, flooding and pets can cause dry and bare patches in your lawn. Inspect your lawn for these and fill in with new soil and seed.

If you suspect that insects or fungi have damaged your lawn, consult our Plant & Pest Problem Solver Tool to determine the culprit. Look for products to rid your lawn of harmful insects and fungi to prevent lawn diseases.

Gardening in late summer has its challenges, just like early spring. While you enjoy the harvest, take time for care and maintenance of your landscape and gardens.