watering a garden - tips for summer gardening

There’s nothing more exciting than the hot growing season in Minnesota.

Fruits and vegetables will be ripening, perennials and annuals are in full bloom and plants are getting taller by the day – it’s a truly magical time of year. 

However, Minnesota’s extreme summer heat can pose plenty of challenges and if you want to keep your garden thriving during the rising temperatures, you’ll need to take a few precautions. 

With more than 30 years in the landscape and gardening design industry, Ground One has continued to learn a thing or two about the best ways to take care of a garden during the hot summer days. Here are our top six tips to protect your plants during a stretch of hot weather.

Top Tips for Helping Your Garden Survive a Minnesota Summer

1. Water Properly

Watering deeply at the base of the plant is one of the best things you can do to ensure your plants stay alive and healthy because it encourages them to send their roots deeper into the ground. The length of time you spend watering can vary but you’ll want to water long enough to saturate the soil about a foot in depth.

Deep watering once or twice a week will suffice for many types of plants, though vegetables may need it more often during hot spells. As for the best time of day to water, you’ll want to stick to the morning or early evening hours as water can quickly evaporate under the midday sun.

Additionally, resist the temptation to overwater – it can lead to root rot or fungal disease. 

2. Install Wind Protection

Wind can cause serious damage to your garden but there are several ways to protect it should a stiff breeze blow through. If you have young plants, hammer a few stakes around them and wrap the stakes in burlap.

You can also create a windbreak by installing stakes or posts on the windward side of the garden and then tying or stapling plastic screening to them – this can reduce the force of the wind by up to 60 percent and prevent soil moisture from evaporating.

3. Weed Your Garden

While weeding your garden is important all year long, weeds can get out of control during the summer months, making it extra important to nip them in the bud when possible.

By spending 10 minutes or so each day on weeding, you can protect your garden and keep it from being overtaken by unwelcome visitors. 

4. Apply Mulch

Want to keep your soil moist and protect your plant from wind and sun? Mulch has got you – and your garden – covered.

Laying down three to five inches of light-colored mulch (dry grass clippings are a great choice as well) will reflect the sunlight, which will in turn help your soil stay cooler.

5. Move Potted Plants to Shade

The summer heat can be extremely hard on plants and while it’s not possible to pick up and move a garden that’s firmly planted in your yard, you can always move your potted plants to a more shady spot on your patio or underneath some taller vegetation.

If you prefer to leave your plants where they are, you can create a canopy with old bed sheets or even use a beach umbrella to provide some respite from the sun’s rays. 

6. Keep Your Lawn Tall

By letting your grass grow at least three inches tall, you can create more shade for your plants – always a good thing in the heat of the summer. It’s also beneficial to your soil because taller grass helps it retain moisture.


Protect Your Lawn From the Summer Heat

To sum up our recommendations for helping your garden survive the summer, make sure you water it properly, protect it from wind, weed it, lay down mulch, move potted plants to shaded areas and keep your lawn a little taller to provide shade. 

Looking for help from the experts? Ground One has been serving the greater Twin Cities, Minnesota area with garden maintenance and landscaping services since 1989 and we can assist you with all your gardening and landscaping needs.

If you’d like to learn more about our design-build process or set up a free in-home consultation, please contact our garden installation and maintenance professionals.