At dawn, the garden is active with nature and beauty. William Longgood said this about early rising, “Morning is the best of all times in the garden. The sun is not yet hot. Sweet vapors rise from the earth. Night dew clings to the soil and makes plants glisten. Birds call to one another. Bees are already at work.”
If this warm weather becomes too oppressive for gardeners as it does for me, schedule overlooked tasks in the early morning. This is the optimum time to be in tune with the dynamics in your garden.
1. Weed: Remove problem weeds that proliferate in this warm weather
2. Water: The morning is the best time when the air is still and the sun is not hot. Also the foliage will dry as the sun rises, reducing fungus problems.
3. Check for insect activity: Observe what is damaging your plants. If you have Japanese Beetles, a pest in any garden, an easy non-chemical remedy is to fill a big yogurt container with dishwashing soap and water. Drop the beetles inside to reduce your population.
4. Deadhead your perennials: This visually freshens up your garden by removing the faded blossoms. This may extend bloom on certain species. At minimum, it makes for more vibrant plants. In certain botanical gardens, a full day is dedicated to dead-heading each week. A pair of scissors or snips and a one-gallon plastic pot are all you need to simplify this task. Most of what you collect is also good for the compost bin.
5. Photograph the garden - This is often the best light of the day. This visual journal can be used for winter reference when you are planning next year’s combinations. You may even capture a moment worth framing.
6. Pick some flowers for your vases. There is nothing more beautiful and frugal than flowers gathered from your own garden. You can admire the fruits of your labor.
7. Mediate or read a gardening book: The sounds are the real thing. You don’t need piped-in nature. If you are looking for a great new gardening book to read, check out Understanding Perennials – A New Look at Old Favorites by William Cullina. Hot off the press.
8. Speaking of hot, it is also the best time to drink your morning coffee, enjoy what’s happening in your garden and watch nature do its thing.
And if you are so inclined, don’t forget to do the tomato dance. We need those green monsters to turn red!
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