Monthly Newsletter: Information, Tips & Reminders
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What To Do in the Garden Now; Mid-Summer Tips & Advice
by Marissa L. Tomasic
- Keep up with watering. We are in the midst of a severe drought. Remember to water less frequently for longer. We generally recommend watering twice a week for two to four hours. New transplants may require even more. Remember to apply water to the roots, not the foliage.
- Don't apply sprays in hot weather. Applying any herbicides, fungicides, insecticides or foliar fertilizers will damage foliage when temperatures are above 80° F.
- Spray fungicides as a preventative (but not during hot days). The hot, humid days of summer create an ideal environment for fungal diseases like powdery mildew, rust and blight. Avoid wetting the foliage of your plants when you water, and apply an organic fungicide as a preventative. Diseases are much easier to prevent than they are to cure. Copper fungicide or neem oil are both good options; just make sure to apply them when temperatures are below 80° F.
- Harvest veggies often. Visit your vegetable garden daily at this time of year and harvest things like cucumbers, beans, summer squashes and eggplants when they are still young and tender. Frequent harvesting encourages the plant to keep producing.
- Harvest herbs now for another crop before season end. Harvest and store herbs like mint, basil, parsley, and sage while they are mature and healthy. There's enough time left in the growing season for these plants to flush out and produce another harvest.
- Sow seeds now for fall harvest. Cool weather crop seeds can be sown now with plenty of time left in the growing season for them to mature. Some vegetables can even tolerate frost and are actually sweeter for it, like carrots, beets, and broccoli. Quick growing tender greens like lettuce and spinach prefer the cooler temperatures of early fall or can be harvested early as baby greens.
- Deadhead annuals & perennials. Removing spent blooms on your flowering plants will encourage more blooms and keep your garden looking great.
- Don't worry too much about insects. Most garden plants are fully mature by this time in the season and therefore better able to survive some insect damage. Hand pick pests when you see them, and apply pesticides only for severe infestations.
- Water lawns deeply & keep grass long. Turfgrasses are plants just like trees, shrubs and perennials and they too benefit from longer, less frequent water applications. Keeping grass long, around 3 - 3.5 inches, will also help to retain moisture.
- Buy past blooming perennials to save money. This time of year we discount all of our past-bloom perennials, giving you a chance to get these perfectly healthy plants for half off. As growers present new phases of stock for garden centers, current stock often gets marked down just to clear out the old to make room for the new. (We just marked down all of our 6" annuals by 50%!)
- Stand in your garden and eat a tomato. And remember to enjoy all the pleasures that the days of summer can bring.