29August 10, 2016

The lack of rain is beginning to have a dire effect on many of our plants. People have had window boxes die due to the inability to keep enough water on the planter. I think a bigger worry is the fact that trees are beginning to drop their leaves and in some cases showing signs that the upper branches may be dying due to a lack of water. I know that many cities and towns have water restrictions in place, but many do allow you to water at certain hours on certain days. If you place a soaker hose or a tree soaker ring around the tree, the soaker hose will effectively put droplets of water in the soil. By running the soaker hose for several hours in the morning and evening, if possible, you will get a good soaking of the soil without losing the water to evaporation. You have a lot of money invested in your trees and shrubs. Don’t let them die due to a lack of water.

Speaking about watering plants, I have talked to as lot of people who are having problems with the vegetable plants that are growing in containers. Most people are watering the plants each day, but it appears that they are not giving the plants enough water. Early in the season, you could give your plants a gallon of water each day and the plants would be happy with that amount of water. In the case of tomato plants, the plants are now huge. A gallon of water per day probably isn’t soaking the soil. When you water container grown vegetables at this time of the year, you should slowly pour the water on the surface of the soil. You want to add a bit of water, wait 30 seconds or so and then add a bit more water. This allows the water to soak into the soil rather than have the water run out of the pot when the water goes along the area between the pot and the soil. You may find that you need between 2 and 5 gallons of water to thoroughly wet the soil. By slowly watering the soil, you will be soaking the soil from the top of the pot all the way to the bottom of the pot.

Your container grown vegetables will need a steady supply of fertilizer if you want a good harvest. Many people have complained that their tomato plant has a lot of tomatoes but the tomatoes are not ripening. Unless those tomatoes are growing on a late maturing variety of plant, the fact that the tomatoes are not ripening means that the plant is not getting sufficient amounts of fertilizer to ripen the tomatoes. You may find that you will need to use a water-soluble fertilizer every 7 to 10 days to get those tomatoes to ripen. This goes for any vegetable plant that you are growing in containers. Your container grown flowers will need to be fertilized often if you want to keep those flowers coming. Food and water are your plants best friend if you want to keep your plants thriving.

Now is the time to set out your second application of the tick tubes. There is another generation of ticks that need a blood meal in order to continue their growth. Don’t be the donor in your yard. There are now so many tick born diseases that are now in this area. Two applications of the tick tubes per year will help to eliminate many of those disease-carrying ticks. We carry the tubes in our store.

Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.

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