July 16, 2014
We are at the mid point of July and there are many things to check in your gardens. Let me give you a list of things to do this week.
Over the past several weeks, I have had customers tell me that many of their vegetable plants are getting flowers, but the flowers don’t turn into vegetables. The reasons for this are many. A lack of consistent water or fertilizer can be the problem. A lack of pollination can also be the problem. In many cases, very hot weather can lead to incomplete pollination. In hot weather, the bees may not be out or the hot weather prevents the pollination from happening. There is a product called blossom set that will help you to get those flowers to set the flowers and produce the vegetables. Blossom set comes in a spray bottle. When the flowers are open, you just spray a quick spray onto the flowers. This causes the vegetable flowers to “ set “ the vegetable on that flower. If you are having trouble with the vegetable flowers producing vegetables, then blossom set may be the answer. We have this product in our store.
I also mentioned that lack of water might be a problem in getting your vegetable plants to produce vegetables. If you think about it for a moment, most vegetables are made up of mainly water. If natural rain isn’t providing the water then you need to be supplying the water. Your vegetable plants take up water better in the morning. You should be doing your watering during the hours of 6 to 8 AM. You do not want to be watering your plants late in the day. If the leaves of the plant go into the nighttime hours with wet leaves, fungus diseases will surely form on the leaves of your plants. If you are growing your vegetables in containers, keeping up with the water is especially critical. As the plants grow larger, they will need more water. If you put your plants into too small of a container, this will cause the soil to dry out quickly. Ultimately, planting your vegetables into too small of a container will mean little or no vegetables being produced.
There are so many different types of caterpillars attacking plants. There is a tiny caterpillar that eats the flowers on petunia plants. Tomato hornworms are probably tiny at this point, but they are eating the leaves of your tomatoes. These are just two of the examples that occur each summer. You can use an organic product called Bt to control caterpillars. This product kills just the caterpillars and none of the other beneficial insects. You buy it as a concentrate and mix it with water. The mixture is sprayed on the leaves of your plants. Once the caterpillar eats some of the mixture that is on the leaf, the caterpillar becomes sick, it stops eating and it will die in a few days.
One of the biggest problems for your flowering hanging baskets is that they are getting so big. This means that you have to water them frequently. The big question is how often are you fertilizing your hanging baskets? If you don’t feed your plants, they are not going to grow properly. If you water frequently, you are washing the fertilizer right out the bottom of the pot. At this time of the year, you should be fertilizing your plants every 10 days if you are using a fertilizer that you mix with water. If you don’t, your plants are going to look terrible.
Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.