35May 28, 2014

Memorial Day has come and gone and the planting season for many vegetable plants and tender annual flowers is now in full swing. If you haven’t had time to get your gardens planted, there is still time to get those plants in the ground or into your containers.

If you remember back to last summer, the season was hot and dry. We all had a problem keeping our plants supplied with enough water. This year, you should consider adding a product called Soil Moist to your potting mixes. When you water your plants, this product will absorb the excess water that would usually run out through the bottom of the container. As the soil begins to dry, the Soil Moist will release the water back into the soil. Each time you water, it will trap the extra water and release it as the soil dries. Soil moist works well in window boxes, hanging baskets and other containers. The amount you add to the soil is based on the size of the container. If you have already potted up your plants, you can poke holes in the soil and add a few granules of the Soil Moist in each hole. If you are putting plants into the ground, you can add some of the Soil Moist at planting time or you can poke holes in the soil and add some to those holes.

Many of you have heard of a disease that attacks impatiens. It is called Impatiens Downey Mildew. The disease will basically ruin the plants if they are planted in very shady areas. There is a product called Agro Fos that can be used to prevent the Downey Mildew from ruining your impatiens. At planting time, you will mix the Agro Fos with water and water your impatiens with the solution. The fungicide is taken up by the roots and is taken into the leaves of the plant. This treatment along with additional treatments through the season will help to prevent the disease from destroying your plants.

Has the dinner bell been ringing in your gardens? It always seems that as soon as you plant your gardens or as soon as the perennials put out some new growth, the rabbits and the woodchucks assume that your gardens are their personal salad bar. There are animal repellents that you can spray onto the plants that will keep the bunnies and the woodchucks from eating your plants. Many of the repellents use herbal oils to make the plants smell or taste bad to the animals. Some of these products can even be used on your vegetable plants. If the critters are eating your plants, stop by the store and we will show you the products that you can use to stop the damage on your plants.

Now I have a favor to ask of you. Many people come into the store to have problems solved with plants in their gardens. With the advent of cameras on cell phone, many people take pictures of the problem. The problem with pictures is that many are not clear enough to see what is going on with the leaves. With a photo, you cannot see what is going on on the bottom of the leaf. If you have a problem with your plants, take some of the infected leaves off the plant and put the leaves into a clear plastic bag. This will allow us to see any insects that you may not have seen, it allows us to look at the bottom of the leaf where many insects and diseases lurk and last but by no means least, if the leaves are diseased, it can help to keep our plants from getting infected by leaves that you bring into our store. Thanks for your help with this problem.

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

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