22BSeptember 9, 2014

A heat wave in early September? It seems so weird but I guess these things happen. At least those late ripening tomatoes will have the heat they need to finally ripen.

I have told you before about the need to keep your plants watered in times of dry soil conditions. With the heat we are having now, keeping your gardens and container grown plants well watered is critically important. Plants that have been grown in containers will have a root system that fills the soil. It leaves very little room for the soil to hold onto extra water. You will have to water these containers on a daily basis during the hot weather. If you factor in the size of the plants, think a full-grown tomato plant in a pot, you may need to water several times a day. Your vegetable garden is at its biggest proportions and the plants will suck up a lot of water on these hot days. It is always best to water early in the morning. At around 6 or 7 AM, your plants will take up the most water. This will allow the plants to stay hydrated in the hottest part of the day. Remember that watering your plants in the evening, particularly if you are getting the leaves wet can lead to late season fungus diseases. If you have to water your plants late in the day, make sure that you water at the base of the plant.

Many of you bring your houseplants outside for the summer. In some cases you will have tropical flowering plants that you would really like to over winter and put outside next year. You need to be mindful that when your bring plants into the house; you probably will be bringing insect pests into the house as well. The insects are kept in check outside by ladybugs and other predators. When you bring the plants into the house, the predators stay outside the house. The warmth and dry air indoors creates the perfect environment for insect population to thrive. Since we know it is September and we know that we eventually will have a frost this fall, you need to think about bringing those plants back into the house soon. Before you bring those plants into the house, you need to treat those plants for any insect that may be on the plants. Unless you are bringing any plant that is edible indoors, you should treat the plants with a systemic insecticide. This type of insecticide is either sprayed on the leaves or applied to the soil and then absorbed by the roots. The systemic insecticide becomes part of the sap of the plant. As insects feed on the sap, the insects are killed. The good part about systemic insecticides is that they stay active in the plant for weeks or months. The benefit to this is that you may kill off the insects that are on the plant but any eggs that hatch may not be killed by a contact type of spray. A systemic helps you to eliminate the present generation and any future generations that come along. It is best to apply a systemic insecticide to your plants a week or two before you bring the plants indoors. Now would be a good time to treat any of the plants that you are planning to bring indoors before the frost. We carry systemic insecticides in our store. If you are bringing edible plants inside, think herbs etc, you will need to use an organic spray to control the insects.

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

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