35 August 11, 2010

Most of you who have vegetable gardens are now starting to see the return on all your hard work. It is so nice to be able to get fresh vegetables from your garden. I have noticed that some of the farm stands are now selling locally grown produce too.

This past week has seen an increase in the number of customers who are having problems with moles and voles digging in their gardens and lawns. These tiny creatures spend their life digging tunnels looking for food. Unfortunately, some of those tunnels wind up being in your lawn and perennial beds. Their tunneling can destroy plant roots and sometimes plant roots can be eaten by these critters. Moles and voles can be difficult to get out of your gardens. There are poison baits that you can use but once the moles or voles die, their remains, if eaten, can poison other animals. There are many brands of repellents that you can apply to the soil to drive these critters out of your yard. Almost all of the products contain castor oil. The moles and voles do not like the smell of the castor oil. They tend to tunnel away from the areas that have been treated with the castor oil products.

Insects of all kinds have appeared in our gardens. Fortunately, most of you have caught the problem early on, making it easier to control the insects. Fungus diseases also appear to be on the increase. This is due to the dew settling on the plants during the nighttime hours. An application of a fungicide usually puts that problem to rest. All in all, compared to last year, it hasn’t been a bad year for gardening. Yes, we could use a rainy day or two to cut back on the amount of watering we need to do. September can be a month with more rain. Vegetable gardens are still in their prime at that time of the year.

People have asked about planting vegetables at this time of the year. Beans would still be a good option. In a few weeks, as the weather cools, many of the vegetables you planted in early spring can be planted again. Think peas, lettuce, radish etc.

Annual flowers and all of your vegetable plants need to be fertilized on a regular schedule. With the amount of watering we all have had to do, fertilizer gets washed out of the soil rather quickly. You can use water soluble fertilizer every seven days with the rapid growth of the plants and all of the watering we are doing. If you keep up with the fertilizer, your plants will reward you with flowers and vegetables well into the fall.

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

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