Garden thoughts for summertime

In late summer, while our lawns are dormant and the growing season is waning, it is time to sit down and take some garden notes to prepare for next spring.

Are there any changes you would like to make to the yard?

Did you want to add a nice structure to the back yard?

Are there some large plants that require lots of pruning and you need to move them?

These are a few questions I ask people when helping them plan their gardens.

How much sun or shade do your plants get?

How is the soil quality? Does it stay wet, or does it dry out?

Choose shade loving plants for shady areas, sun-loving plants for sunny areas, and drought resistant varieties for dry conditions.

Do not move any plants at this time. That should be done in the spring. Plants are in active growth in then and energy is stored in the roots.

As I mentioned in my last column, summer is a good time for pruning.

I notice people cutting plants into all sorts of interesting shapes. Please do not top your plants. There’s a good way to prune — please refer to my previous columns for details.

Tips for the lawn:

Northwest lawns go dormant in the summer.

It is a good idea to water an inch a week. When fall arrives, we need to start the renovation process (over-seeding and top-dressing).

We’ll discuss this in detail later. For now, mechanical weeding is important.

Enjoy the sun. Fall and winter will be here before you know it.

Happy gardening,

Gardener Joe

You can contact Gardener Joe at



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