31June 25, 2014

The cooler days would appear to be having an effect on some of the vegetable plants. Quite a few customers have told me that their squash and cucumber plants are not growing very fast. The cooler weather does tend to slow the growth on these plants. You can encourage the plants to grow by making sure that the plants get enough water and you also need to make sure that you are applying fertilizer on a regular schedule.

Many insects have made their appearance in area gardens. Earwigs are doing damage to pepper plants. Since earwigs generally feed at night, most people don’t see them doing damage to the plants. Flea beetles are damaging the leaves of many different types of plants. A very tiny caterpillar is doing major damage to the leaves of rosebushes. Slugs, which aren’t really an insect, are damaging hosta and many other plants. If you have problems with your plants, take some of the damaged leaves off your plants, put them into a clear plastic bag and bring the samples into the store. The type of damage that is occurring on the leaves will enable us to identify the culprit and get you the right control method. Please don’t just take pictures of the damage. Photos are never clear enough to allow us to identify the problem.

Dry weather means that the ants have been busy tunneling in areas of sandy soil. The digging may be nothing more than unsightly in your lawn, but if they get into your vegetable garden, the tunnels can damage the roots of your plants. If you get more than a few anthills in your garden, you may want to apply an organic ant control to the soil.

Many of you have shrubs that flower in the early spring. Think azaleas, forsythia and rhododendrons. These plants need to be fertilized as soon as they are done flowering. This allows them to set their flower buds for 2015. If you have not fertilized your spring flowering shrubs, you are running out of time to get the fertilizer down around the shrubs. Add this task to your weekend gardening list.

Hanging flowering baskets and window boxes have been growing for a while now. These planters need a steady supply of fertilizer if they are going to bloom their hearts out for you. Fertilizers tend to wash out of the soil because you need to water these planters on a daily basis. You should get into the habit of fertilizing these plants from now until frost. If you keep up with the fertilizing, there is no reason that these planters shouldn’t look spectacular from now until frost.

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

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