Cutting,  dead heading, Bellis Perennis Rose Red Double Daisy with secateurs in sunlight

Late-Summer Gardening Tips For Beginners

Finish strong while setting yourself up for success next season

Originally Published: 
It’s inevitable: Summer will end and with that comes the close of gardening season (at least for most flowers). Stephanie Fox of @loving_my_gardeningtips shares tips for end-of-season gardening that will set you up for success.Shutterstock

Water regularly

“[There’s] work going on underneath the soil — the root systems and bulbs will be getting ready for the following spring," Fox says. "After a hot summer give your plants a good regular water to help the roots and bulbs prepare themselves and become stronger.”
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Divide your plants

“Perennial plants such as hardy geraniums, Salvia, Agapanthus, Primula are perfect for division,” Fox says. “Not only do you double your stock, it helps keep your plants strong and healthy and you can check underneath for weeds too, such as ground elder.”

Stop feeding the plants

It’s not the right time to feed plants that won’t last through the winter. Instead Fox suggests deadheading plants that are still flowering. “By doing this you can extend the flowering season,” she says.


Getting rid of weeds is key for maintaining your garden. “If left, the weeds seed and then scatter around the garden, giving you a bigger problem for next year. Dig them up and you will make your life easier; after a few years they will become less,” Fox says.

Tend to your lawn

A hot summer will dry out your lawn, and the end of the season is a good time to give it a big dose of water, Fox says. She also suggests raising the blades of your mower to keep the grass a bit longer in the colder seasons.

Aerate your lawn

Fox suggests aerating your lawn in late summer. “I use a fork. It improves air flow and percolation.”
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If you haven’t already, add a layer of mulch around any plants that will be sticking around. This helps to protect plants from shifts in temperature, and can also deter weeds.

Plant for fall

The end of summer doesn’t mean you have to totally say goodbye to your garden. Late August is a great time to plant carrots, beets, radishes, turnips and other fall veggies.

Consider composting

It’s a great time to start composting. Use any dead plants or flowers to start a compost pile, and add leaves as they drop (plus food scraps). You’ll have rich soil by next spring. Remember to turn compost every now and then to let in air.
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