Late April showers are bringing in May flowers but this summer gardeners will need to focus their attentions on irrigation. It’s not too late to plant a few items for this summer but save the big planting plans for mid-October when the wetter weather begins to roll in.

  1. Tropical Gardening – Hot summer weather is a perfect climate for growing sub-tropic plants like hibiscus and bougainvilleas. A little water to get them started and they become very tolerant of dry spells.
  2. Citrus Fruit – Now is still a good time to plant citrus fruit. In super hot areas, whitewash bare trunks with thinned latex paint (50:50 with water) to protect bark from the scalding sun. Save on watering and fertilize less often by letting fallen leaves remain on the ground.
  3. Too Late for Drought Resisters – Due to little rain this winter and rumblings of a drought this summer, many are thinking of planting more drought resistant plants. Hold that thought and wait until fall to do any planting since even new drought resistant plants are temper mental about summer weather and need regular watering.
  4. Mulch to Save Your Plants – Mulching with compost or wood chips makes for healthier plants throughout the summer. The mulch helps to cool the roots and conserve moisture. Use a heavy enough mulch to not blow away in the wind or float off with a little watering.
  5. Summertime Veggies – Peppers and tomatoes are once again cream of the crop for summertime planting. Rule of thumb is to plant tomatoes deep, up to their first set of leaves because this plant will root all along the buried stem.
  6. Floral Extravaganza – Have a multi-climate backyard? For sunny areas, try planting bedding dahlia, gloriosa daisy, marigold, petunia, verbena and zinnias. In the shady places, plant bedding begonias, coleus, impatiens, and forget-me-nots.

Ask any Realtor, a landscaped yard and blooming flowers add that special touch when trying to sell your home.