Summer Gardening To Do List: Tasks and Projects for Summertime Garden Maintenance


Annuals should be dead headed (the dead blooms picked or cut off with pruners) regularly in order to stimulate continued growth. Any annuals that have died should be pulled and – if the plant otherwise seemed healthy – should be tossed in the compost pile.

Weed your annual beds regularly to keep them neat looking, and add mulch as needed to keep moisture in.


Dead head any spent blooms to keep the flowers coming on your perennial plants – the plant uses energy on spent flowers instead of growing new ones.

Stake up any taller perennials that might sway in the wind and break.

Prune rose bushes and cut off any spent flowers as they begin to brown in order to promote new flowers. Fertilize and check the plant for diseases and pests, and treat as needed.

Be on the lookout for pests on your plants. Aphids, ear wigs, slugs and snails can all be troublesome on perennial plants. Treat as needed with natural solutions or pesticides.

Bearded iris should be divided now if needed — after they have finished blooming and if they seem over crowded.

Containers, Hanging Baskets and Window Boxes

Container gardens should be watered on a regular basis, especially in extreme heat or extreme dry conditions. Fertilize regularly with all-purpose fertilizer or compost tea.

Any annuals that are beginning to die off should be pulled. These can be replaced with late summer blooming annuals, such as ornamental peppers or mums.

Bulb Planting

Late summer is a good time to plant fall flowering bulbs.

  • Allium
  • astilbe
  • autumn crocuses
  • spider lilies
  • hardy cyclamen

are popular choices.

In addition, now is the time to order bulbs for spring blooms – many catalog outlets offer deep discounts prior to the peak buying season.


Summertime is when most herb plants truly shine – enjoy them and take advantage of their bounty. Trim the herb plants regularly to stimulate new growth. Watch for diseases or pests in your herb plants, and treat accordingly.


When summer arrives is when most gardens are at their prime. While there are many tasks to do in the garden, be sure to set aside some time to sit back and enjoy your hard work.

This is also a good time to make notes in your garden journal, taking care to write about what plants did well and which ones didn’t, changes you might wish to make next year, and notes on plants or seeds to try out in the garden next year.