As the unofficial kick-off of the Summer season, it's good to start with garden activities on Memorial Day weekend. We're past the last of the frosts, and the weather is getting warmer. As gardeners, this only means we begin our summer garden plan with some garden activities with the family.
I've prepared a list of starters you can try during the long weekend in case you need a garden activities guide.
Memorial Day Weekend Garden Activities for the Whole Family
1. Tidy up the Lawn
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Get your garden summer-ready. It's the growing season for some of the best vegetables and plants to have in your garden. And to get the best crops, a little preparation and tidying up will do the trick.
- Pull out the pesky weeds.
- Set up a compost pit for dry leaves and kitchen scraps.
- Trim the shrubs and hedges with hand shears.
- Move pots outside for some sun love.
- Fix and organize your garden tools.
2. Fertilize the Soil
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As a rule of thumb, the best time to fertilize your lawn is in early Spring. However, supplementing this during your Memorial Day gardening will ensure sustained growth throughout the Summer season.
For this application, use slow-release or compost-based fertilizers to avoid plant diseases. You can also apply mulch to keep as much moisture in the soil during this dry season.
3. Sow Flower Seeds
For a vibrant summer bloom display, choose heat-resistant flowers which will be able to survive the scorching summer sun. Lucky for us, we have a lot of options:
- Cleome (Spider flowers)
- Gazania (African Daisy)
- Helichrysum (Strawflower)
- Morning Glory
- Portulaca (Moss Rose)
These flowers only bloom once in their lifetime. It is best to save the seeds for the next planting season.
- Asclepias (Butterfly Weed)
- Coreopsis (Tickseed)
- Gaillardia (Blanket flower)
- Rudbeckia (Cone flowers)
Although these flowers are built for the summer, they are still vulnerable at the early stage of their growth. Before planting outside, keep the transplants well-watered and away from direct sunlight.
Expert Tip: Plant early or late in the day to minimize the effect of the sun.
4. Plant Summer Vegetables
As mentioned earlier, late May is a good time to plant because the threat of frosts has already passed. The warm weather makes the soil good, ideal for growing seeds directly.
Here are some veggies you can grow this Summer:
- Beans – Beans are not advised to be started indoors. This goes for both bush and pole beans.
- Corn – Plant corn at this time for a late Summer or early Fall harvest.
- Cucumber – After hardening off the transplant, it's time to plant cucumbers outdoors.
- Eggplant – Eggplants grow best when the temperature starts reaching 60°F.
- Peppers – Plant these garden favorites towards the end of the month.
- Potatoes – The last chance to plant potato is on the last week of May.
- Summer Squash – In time for a July harvest, plant your summer squash during the Memorial Day weekend.
- Tomato – Transplant your tomatoes once you are sure that all frosts have already melted.
5. Harvest Your Garden Produce
You can spend the Memorial Day weekend to also enjoy the fruits of your Fall and Spring labors. Vegetables that are ready for harvest late in May include cauliflower, spring onions, cabbage, and garlic. For fruits, you can start picking apricots, blueberries, blackberries, nectarines, and peaches at this time.
6. Create a Memory Garden
In the spirit of the holiday, you can opt to spend the weekend immortalizing memories in your garden. Rightfully, our most special memories are those that remind us of our loved ones. The holiday is a perfect time to plant in remembrance of our veteran and/or loved ones.
Ideas for this special Memorial Day garden can include simple activities such as planting a tree or designing a dedicated section of your lawn.
7. Make a Bouquet for Memorial Day
If you personally know veterans or their families, giving a bouquet will be an appreciated gesture on Memorial Day. You can go for the traditional peonies which were used even before the holiday was called ‘Dedication Day.'
If you feel a bit patriotic, you can mix flowers in red, white, and blue. Add a mini national flag for effects.
Watch this video from Gardening with Bulldogs on how to make a Memorial Day mailbox planters:
The Memorial Day weekend is coming, and together with it the new season. For green thumbs like us, it will be a day specially reserved for family and garden duties. I hope we make the most of this long weekend with our loved ones.
Let's hope for fair weather during the long weekend. More importantly, let's not forget, “Memorial day is the day set aside to remember with gratitude all those who served for our freedom.”
What's your priority garden activities on the Memorial Day weekend? What other fast-growing vegetables would go great in a survival garden? Let us know in the comments below.
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