pre-summer cleanup


All month I have been getting ready for summer in the garden. The plants are putting out a HUGE show, but the issue is that if I don’t prune them way back now, they won’t survive the summer. It’s better to cut them back quite a bit and allow the new, young greenery to hog all the plants’ resources over the hot, humid, and dark summer.

It’s always very hard to do this- it feels like some of the plants are putting on an extra big spring show, and to go and cut all of that away… it feels cruel and nor remotely practical. But I learned my lesson the hard way over the last few summers- I’ll go to bed one night with a plant huge and green and bushy and the next day it will all be a limp, dead mess. It’s like some of the plants can only take *so* much heat and then they just -plop-.

The other hard part about this is that I’ll basically be taking away all the big, green, beauty the garden has accumulated in the last few weeks. My garden goes from being “oh, wow” to “hey, this looks pretty scrappy and sad.”

BUT, there is something incredibly satisfying about doing a huge round of pruning. It’s very therapeutic to pull large branches and handfuls of foliage away from a plant and kind of see what’s hiding underneath. And everything will get more light, which is definitely a good thing going into summer, which can get dark because of the stormy weather we have.

(Is it wrong I am very very hopeful for a mild, breezy, SUNNY summer with not many storms and lots of beautiful, tolerable days? A girl can hold on to that hope, can’t she? 😉  )

So this weekend it’s time to prune the giant tomato “tree”, and start going around with clippers in my hand and clip away anything that looks bushy or the least bit dry/brown/wilted. Sorry, garden… but it’s for your own good.

And I try to keep in mind that fall is around the corner (this thought keeps me sane through summer) and things will grow back.


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