Extend Your Summer Garden

by | Aug 26, 2019

The countdown is on for holidays to come to an end, the kids to get back to school and routines to become, well, routine again. Fall is a glorious time, but for many, it’s just too soon! Summer technically lasts until late September (especially for those of us in more temperate areas) so let’s make the most of every minute we have in our summer gardens!

Pinch back to perk up your planters. We still have many warm days ahead of us, so summer annuals have lots of time to keep blooming right until frost! Give leggy plants a light pinch back – just a trim – and a good deadheading to encourage new growth. You won’t get as much colour as the main season, but it will prompt the plant to keep growing.

Feed! Your plants have been growing hard all season long, and between vigorous growth and frequent watering, many nutrients in the soil have been used up. Give them the nutrients they need with a liquid fertilizer, like Alaska MorBloom 0-10-10, each time you water and top dress with a slow-release fertilizer, like 14-14-14, to keep them going strong.

Pop in some fresh colour. Need to replace a few annuals but can’t bear the thought of mums, kale or pansies just yet? Coleus, strawflowers, celosia, gomphrena and annual rudbeckia, will keep blooming until the cold sets in. You can also extend that fresh colour to your landscaping too! Some of our favourite late-flowering shrubs include loropetalum, caryopteris and PG Hydrangeas (their blooms look incredible as they age!).

Replant your veggies. Looking out at vegetable gardens filled with delicious edibles is a highlight of the summer, but for those of us in the Fraser Valley, it can be a highlight fall, winter and spring too! Let summer veggies, like tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and zucchini, keep going until they’re fully done. For veggies that have finished, though, turn some organic content (like Sea Soil or well-rotted manure) back into the soil along with a bit of fine bark or sand to keep it well-drained, and replant with fall and winter veggies. They’ll fill in nicely over the next few weeks. Get them planted quickly though—it’s a short window!

Plant for pollinators. We love watching bees, butterflies and hummingbirds flit through the greenhouses all summer long. Keep them coming to your garden in the months ahead by planting late summer and fall-blooming plants (winter bloomers are a complete blog post all on their own)! Some of our favourites at the garden centre include achillea, asters (Michaelmas daisy), heather (both summer and winter), helenium, Japanese anemone, rudbeckia and sedums.

Revitalize your lawn. Love the feeling of going barefoot in your lawn? Give your lawn a boost to keep it lush and growing! If you haven’t watered your lawn this summer, it will be appreciative of a good, deep drink (but check your local watering restrictions first!). Even better, before you water, apply a lawn fertilizer, like Pro Mix Green & Feed 36-0-12 or Scotts’ Fall Turf Builder 32-0-10, to green your lawn up quickly and over the long term. Note: in about three weeks’ time, you’ll also be in the clear to overseed to thicken up your lawn.

Light it up! The nights will be getting darker earlier, but keep those summer parties going by stringing up LED lights, LED lanterns and cool solar stakes!


Pumpkins, spice and everything nice will be here soon enough. For now, take a few minutes to perk up your garden so that it performs its best for the next 4-6 weeks, pour yourself your favourite summer drink, pop open a lawn chair and enjoy!