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      Summer gardens begin to blossom

      Summer weather has arrived, and gardens are beginning to blossom.

      During hot summer months, some plants will flourish and others will struggle. But, with loving care and the following helpful tips, all should survive. Adequate water in the root zone is the top concern. However, do not overwater. Also using mulch in the soil will help to stabilize soil temperature and retain moisture. Plants should also be watered in the early morning. This will help to reduce water loss due to evaporation. However, some soils may not be up to par, and need amendments.

      "You can buy amendments at local garden centers or farm supply stores, and you can also use decomposed manure if you have a neighbor that's a farmer. Or if you live on a farm, decomposed manure works well as does shredded leaves, grass clumps, mix that all in and compost. A lot of gardeners make their own compost and add that to the soil," said Jennifer Schutter, Horticulture Specialist with the MU Extension.

      When planting, it is also best to protect gardens from rabbits and other animals. This can be done by building fencing around the garden beds.