August 26, 2015
It would appear that we have finally had a period of soaking rain. This will do wonders for our lawns, gardens, trees and shrubs.
If you have tomato plants growing in your garden or in pots, you will have a lot of green tomatoes. Some of the tomatoes may be small and some may be large. If you look closely, you may even see some new flower buds forming on the plants. At this time of the year, those new flowers will probably set new tomatoes. The problem can be that those tomatoes will probably never turn into red tomatoes. At this time of the year, it is a good idea to remove those flowers and any other flowers that show up on your plants. This will allow your plants to put all of their effort into turning those existing green tomatoes into nice red tomatoes.
One of the things that happen in the vegetable garden at this time of the year is that many people begin to lose a bit of interest in the garden. One of the first things that people stop doing is fertilizing the vegetable garden. However, your vegetable garden needs a steady supply of fertilizer now more than any other time of the season. You have a lot of big plants competing for food in the soil. If you are not fertilizing your vegetable garden on a regular schedule, your plants will suffer. For example, if your tomatoes are not turning red, it may be due to a lack of fertilizer in the soil. If there is not enough available potassium in the soil, tomatoes cannot turn red. The heavy rains we have had lately can wash fertilizer out of the soil. If you haven’t fertilized your vegetable garden or you haven’t fertilized those pots of vegetables, make a note to due that as soon as possible and keep up with fertilizing those plants until the harvest is done.
An extended period of rain has created the conditions that are perfect for fungus diseases to occur on your flowering plants and on your vegetable plants. As a precaution, you should be applying a fungicide to your plants. This will be particularly important to do on your squash, pumpkin and cucumber plants. If the diseases have not started yet, there are some good organic fungicides that you can use on your plants. If the diseases have begun, then you will have to resort to a synthetic fungicide to stop the disease.
A long hot and dry summer has really hurt the lawns in the area. The roots can be damaged by the lack of water. Now that we have had some rain, it would be a good time to apply some fertilizer to your lawn.
The other thing that you should be thinking about that concerns your lawn is the hatching of the Japanese beetle grubs in your lawn. The eggs that were laid in your lawn during July and August will be hatching out around the 10 Th of September. You can still put down an organic control called Milky Spore that will kill this falls newly emerging grubs. Any of the so-called 24-hour grub controls should not be put down until all of the eggs have hatched in the soil. This is usually done in mid to late September. If you have seen Japanese Beetles in your yard during July and August, you should be considering an application of some type of grub control this fall.
Late August and early September are a time when you can divide your over-grown perennials. This time of the year is the preferred time to divide bearded iris rhizomes. Once you divide your perennials and reset them in your gardens, make sure to give them an application of a plant starter fertilizer to help to get the new roots established quickly in the soil.
Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.