- Harvest herbs when leaves are mature. Herbs such as cilantro, basil, and oregano are good to cut frequently to prevent them from blooming. Once the herb set blooms, the flavor on the leaves changes and some of them die.
- Protect the vegetable garden from rabbits with chicken wire fencing with 1 inch or smaller mesh and at least 3 feet tall. Bury 6 inches of fencing below the soil.
- Water garden beds slowly and deeply, about 1 to 1 ½ inches per week; depending on the temperature and rain. Water in the morning and around the base of the plant; avoid getting the plant leaves wet and prevent leaf fungus. It is best to water deeply once per week rather than watering shallowly several times per week.
- Compost cool-season edibles that have stopped performing such as peas, lettuce, and kohlrabi. Substitute with warm-season edibles such as melons, cucumbers, and pumpkins.
- Raise lawn mowing height to 2 ½ - 3 inches and mow regularly.
- Avoid applying fertilizer to lawns during hot weather. The best time to fertilize lawns is fall.
- Apply 1 to 2 inches of natural mulch on flower beds and around trees, keeping mulch away from the trunks. Mulch regulates temperature, suppresses weeds, and conserves moisture.
- If necessary, prune spring-flowering shrubs immediately after they flower.
- Prune lightly evergreens such as boxwoods and yews after the new growth fills in to give them a formal shape.
- Remove spent flowers and yellow leaves from annuals, this will help them to stay healthy, and lush.
- Instead of using harsh pesticides, consider releasing beneficial insects such as ladybugs or praying mantis to control unwanted insects like mites and aphids.
- Fertilize garden containers planted with annuals. Remember to water after applying fertilizers.
Ana graduated with an Associate’s Degree in Ornamental Horticulture from the College of DuPage. She continued her studies in Horticulture through the outreach program at the University of Illinois. In 2014 Ana completed the Horticultural Therapy Certificate Program through the Chicago Botanical Garden.