34July 8, 2015

I have been asked by many customers, why is it that their tomato plants are very slow growing this year. The same can be said for peppers and cucumbers. Tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers are plants that like warm weather. They thrive in the hot weather of June, July and August. If you think about it, the month of June has seen very little warm to hot weather. Without the warm weather, the plants will sit and sulk. Keep in mind that you need to keep up with fertilizing your plants. If the plants don’t have enough available fertilizer, they are not going to grow. I’m sure at some point in time the plants will grow and the first ripe tomatoes will be a bit later this season.

If you haven’t fertilized your lawn in 8 weeks or more, now is the time to give your lawn an application of fertilizer. At this time of the year, you should be applying an organic lawn fertilizer. Organic fertilizers are slower to release all of their nutrients. During the summer, you do want to maintain your lawns growth. If you think about the early spring fertilizers, they tend to push out lots of new growth. The new growth needs a lot of water to keep it going. In the last few weeks, we have been lucky to receive a decent amount of rain. If the summer goes to normal weather, we may not get enough rain to support a lot of new growth on our lawns. At this point in time, let’s just keep the lawn happy.

Many of you have blue hydrangeas in your yard. In some cases, the blue color isn’t really blue at all but rather more pink. You can make the blue hydrangeas a more intense shade of blue by adding aluminum sulfate to the soil. The aluminum sulfate is dissolved in water and the plants are watered with the solution. You can do this every 2 weeks until you get the desired shade of blue.

The rainy weather we have had in June will mean that slugs are happy creatures. We have had many people bring in leaf samples that show the distinctive damage caused by slugs. Slugs have a mouth that cuts a smooth edged hole in the leaves. If slugs are a problem in your yard, insecticides will not kill them. In reality, they are not insects but more closely related to clams. We carry an organic product in the store called Sluggo. It is safe to use around pets but it very quickly controls the slug population.

The warmer weather of summer will mean that some of the early vegetables that you planted in your vegetable garden will be going past their prime. If you pull up these plants, don’t leave any empty space in your garden. There is still time to plant vegetables in your garden. Green or yellow beans will still produce a decent crop if planted now. If your lettuce is going to seed, pull up the plants and put in some Swiss chard. There are lots of other things that you can still start from seed in your garden. If you have some open space in your garden, stop by the store and we can show you what can work in your garden.

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

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