July 15, 2015
We finally got some of the warm weather that the vegetable gardens have needed. Many of you have told me that the warm weather vegetables have finally started to really grow and to finally have some vegetable production. We have been lucky enough to get some showers that have allowed the plants to grow. Now that the hot and humid weather has arrived, you may need to do some additional watering to keep your gardens healthy. If you are growing your vegetables in containers, keeping up with the watering is very important to the health of your plants. If you are growing tomato plants in containers and you allow the soil to go from wet to dry, you will find that your plants develop blossom end rot. This condition leads to the formation of a black patch on the bottom of the tomato. If you keep the soil in your containers evenly moist, you won’t see this problem.
If you need to water your gardens, it is best to do so in the morning. Plants take up water better in the morning and when they do take up water in the morning, they are better prepared for the heat and wind that can affect their growth. If you do the watering only in the evening, any water that gets onto the leaves can lead to fungus diseases.
Speaking of fungus diseases, there have been many gardens that have been hit with fungus diseases. Tomato, cucumber, squash and a host of annuals and perennials have all had problems with fungus diseases showing up in the past 2 weeks. You should make time to check all of your plants and if you see black spots or if you see a white powdery coating on the leaves of your plants, make sure to begin a treatment for fungus disease control.
Plants that are rapidly growing also need to be fertilized on a regular basis. The type of fertilizer that you use is up to you, but you need to apply the fertilizer on a regular schedule. Your vegetable plants will need to be feed more often as they get bigger and begin to produce and ripen the vegetables. The hanging flowering baskets will have filled up the soil in the pots with a massive root system. They will need fertilizer to keep those roots and the flowers and foliage healthy.
Many insects are now making the garden their home and some of them have evil on their mind! You should check all of your plants for signs of insect damage. Whitefly appears to be attacking tomato plants. Slugs, even though they are not insects, are feeding on hosta and many other plants. It is far easier to control insect damage on your plants if you catch the problem early on. Checking all your plants for signs of insect damage each time you are in the garden or each time you tend to your container plants is the best way to catch the problem before it becomes a life-threatening issue for your plants. If you apply an appropriate insect control when the problem is in its early stages, you have the best change at eradicating the problem.
Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.