August 27, 2014
Well, August has certainly come and gone! Yet there are still things you can do in the garden. Let’s start with the vegetable garden. Every year, people tell me that they have lots of green tomatoes but no red tomatoes. I always ask when was the last time that the tomato plants received an application of fertilizer. The sheepish look tells me it has been a long time. Tomatoes use a lot of potassium to ripen the tomatoes. Potassium is the last of the 3 numbers on the fertilizer container. If you regularly fertilize your tomato plants, you will get ripe tomatoes. Keep up with fertilizing those tomato plants right up to the time the frost wipes the tomato plants out.
If you have space in your garden, don’t let that space go to waste. You can plant peas, lettuce, beets, chard, spinach, fall broccoli and so many more of the leafy vegetables. Planting seeds now will, in many cases, give you fresh vegetables well into November. We recently received a seed rack into the store with lots of seeds that are good for fall crops. Many of the pumpkin, gourd and squash plants have developed a white powdery appearance on their leaves. This is a fungus disease called Powdery mildew.
If you don’t treat the leaves with an appropriate fungicide, all the leaves will eventually become infected and the plant will die. If you see signs of Powdery Mildew, don’t wait to see if it will go away. Trust me, it won’t go away. You must treat your plants or they will die.
If your window boxes or other planters are looking like they have seen better days, you can re-plant them with all types of fall flowers. Hardy mums have come into flower early this year and we have several sizes available now. Many people are using leafy plants to give contrast in their planter. If your planters are looking rough, add some color now that will last well into the fall.
Your lawn is probably hungry. It has been a long, relatively dry summer. Thankfully we did get some rain that helped lawns to survive. An application of fertilizer now will get the grass growing again and will help your grass to fill in some of those bare spots.
If you didn’t have time to apply lime to your lawn in the spring, late summer through the fall is a great time to apply lime to your lawn. Lime helps your lawn to better utilize the fertilizer you put down and the process of lime changing the PH of the soil makes it easier for the grass to grow faster and thus force out many weeds.
Late August through late September is an ideal time to apply grass seed. If you are putting in a new lawn or just filling in some bare spots, fall applications of seed will give you a great lawn. The cooler air temperature, the morning dew and the normal fall rains can combine with warm soil temperature to give your grass seed all it needs to sprout and turn into a healthy lawn before old man winter sets in.
Well, that should be enough to keep you busy for a while. Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.