June 4, 2014
People have gotten around to feeling that the weather is warm enough to plant their gardens. For those of you who didn’t do their planting, there is still time to get those plants into your gardens and containers.
We are coming into the warmer weather and it may be time for you to fertilize the lawn before the heat of the summer really hits. If you feed your lawn with an organic fertilizer, the nutrients will slowly release and help your lawn to have the food it needs to stay green through the summer. The other thing that your lawn may need now is some water. Despite the cloudy, cool and sprinkles we had during May, it didn’t amount to a lot of rain. Depending on the mixture of grasses that makes up your lawn, you may need up to an inch of water per week to keep your lawn healthy.
If you have planted your gardens or your containers recently, you should make sure that they are getting adequate water too. Plants in your garden need moist soil in order to get a strong root system into the soil. If you planted in containers, the smaller containers will dry out faster if they are in sunny and or windy locations. Larger containers will hold more soil so early on plant roots won’t be tapping into all the moisture that is in the soil. Soil that stays too wet all the time can lead to the roots rotting in the soil. Ultimately, the best way to know is to take your finger and poke it into the soil to a depth of about an inch. If the soil feels dry, then give your plants some water.
Fertilizer is equally important in getting the roots to grow. If you look at a fertilizer container, there are 3 numbers on the package. The middle number is phosphorous. Phosphorous helps the plants to form roots and it helps in the formation of flowers. If you keep your plants fertilized on a regular basis, the phosphorous will help to keep those roots growing strong.
The cool weather we had during the latter part of May could lead to the beginning of fungus diseases on your plants. It wouldn’t be unusual to see fungus diseases hitting your squash and cucumber plants. Fungus diseases may also be on your verbena and lantana. Even some of your perennials may develop fungus diseases early on this year. It makes sense to walk around your yard and look at your plants for signs of diseases. If you make a habit of doing this every few days, you can catch a fungus disease in the early stages when it is easier to control. Don’t forget to look at the lawn to see if fungus diseases are starting there.
A few people have come in asking what the orange growth is that is appearing on plants in the cedar family. This is one of the stages of cedar-apple rust. This disease appears on members of the apple family one year and then on members of the cedar family the following year. Once it is on the members of the cedar family, there isn’t much you can do to stop it. Prevention is the best way to stop this disease. Prior to the growth season in 2016, you should be spraying members of the cedar family with an appropriate fungicide. Next year, you should be spraying fungicides on any apple of crabapples that are growing in your yard. Unfortunately, the disease can form on wild cedar s or wild apples. It may also be that it is coming from a neighbors yard. Ultimately, prevention is the best way to stop this disease from infecting your cedars or your apple trees.
Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.