40May 27, 2015

Memorial Day has come and gone. Many of you spent time planting annuals, perennials, vegetables and trees and shrubs. In the mind of some people, it is too late to plant anything after Memorial Day. Nothing could be farther from the truth. In many years, the soil just begins to be warm around the end of May or the first of June. Basil, eggplant, zinnias, portulaca and annual vinca, to name a few, should be planted when the soil is warm. If you haven’t gotten around to planting yet, you still have plenty of time to get your seeds and plants into the ground.

You might think that after the snowy winter that we had that there would be plenty of water in the ground. The very dry winds that we have had and the lack of rainfall has lead to extremely dry soil. Once you get your plants into the ground, you must keep up with the watering of your plants. Young plants will struggle to get their roots out into the soil if there is not enough moisture in the soil. The weather forecast for this week is for much warmer weather than we have had and it does not look like any substantial rain is in the forecast. If you want to lose your investment in plants, then just forget about watering your plants. However, if you want your gardens to succeed, then keep up with watering your plants.

I have had a few people ask me about plants that are slow to leaf out this spring. In many cases, the customer asks if they should remove the plant. When I ask them if they have been watering the plant and if they have fertilized the plant, the answer from the customer is usually no. If you have a plant that is sulking, give it a steady supply of water and some fertilizer and in a few weeks, you will either have a plant that puts out leaves or you have a plant that needs to be removed.

A few people have asked about using red plastic mulch around their tomato plants. This mulch does appear to give you a better crop of tomatoes. You can place the red mulch around your plants before you plant the tomatoes or you can place it around the plants after you put the plants into the ground. We carry the red plastic mulch in our store.

A reader had sent in an email asking what the difference is between seed geraniums and the other geraniums that you usually see in 4 or 6-inch pots. As the name would imply, seed geraniums are started from seed and the other geraniums are started from cuttings. Seed geranium plants tend to be smaller and their flowers are usually smaller. The geraniums from cuttings usually have larger flowers and the plants are usually fuller. In my opinion, if you were trying to fill a big flowerbed with geraniums, you might want to use seed geraniums. They are usually cheaper in price and once established, they put on a good display of color. If you want more than just basic red or pink geraniums, then the cutting geraniums will give you a wider hue of colors and a spectacular display of flowers in window boxes and other planters.

Once your gardens are in, you need to be on the look out for signs of insect damage and fungus disease damage. You will get the best control of the insects if you get to them before their population has gotten large and they have done major damage to your plants. The same goes for fungus diseases. If you catch the problem early, you have a much better chance of saving your plants.

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

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