57 July 22, 2006

July is winding down and will be remembered for all of the hot weather. In February, remind me not to complain if we get some really cold weather.


In the vegetable garden, the plants are growing quickly. It is important to keep up with the weeding. Weeds take valuable moisture out of the soil. Your vegetable plants will need to be fertilized regularly if you want to keep the harvest going strong. In particular, tomatoes, squash and cucumbers will need to be fertilized until the frost hits the garden. If you stop fertilizing, tomatoes will not ripen and the squash and cucumber plants will stop producing. Fungus diseases are always a danger in the vegetable garden. Squash plants will get powdery mildew on the leaves of the plant. This is a given with all of the humid weather we have had this month. Apply a fungicide to the leaves to prevent or stop this disease. If you do not, the leaves will die and the squash will stop growing. This disease will also get on pumpkins and cucumbers. Tomato plants will also get their share of fungus diseases too. With the humidity gone but soon to be back, you should apply a fungicide to your tomato plants.


The Japanese Beetles will be laying eggs in your lawn until sometime in August. Now would be a good time to apply a season long grub control. This product takes about 30 days to become effective. Since the eggs hatch out around the first to the middle of September, you have a couple of weeks to apply this product. You can also apply the organic product called Milky Spore. This bacterium attacks only the grubs in the lawn. It will not harm birds or earthworms.


The warm weather will have caused many of your perennials to grow quickly. Any of the plants that are producing tall flower stalks will need to have those flower stalks staked with bamboo stakes. The stakes are placed into the ground and the flower stalks are tied to the stake. Once this is done, heavy rains or strong winds from a thunderstorm will not snap off the flower stalk. Dahlias and gladiolus should also be staked to prevent damage from wind or rain. Ditto for any weak stemmed sunflower plants.


Rose bushes will need to be watched for signs of fungus disease too. As is the case with all plants, avoid watering late in the day and try not to get the foliage wet. Rose bushes are one of the few plants that need a routine treatment for insects and diseases. As beautiful as the plants are, they are prone to attack from all sorts of insects and fungus disease. Ever-blooming varieties should have old flowers removed and to encourage new blooming you should be fertilizing the plants on a regular schedule.


Annual flowers need to be watched for signs of fungus disease too. As necessary, old flower stalks should be removed and fertilizing should continues right up until frost.  Not fertilizing annuals on a regular schedule is one of the reasons that annual flowering plants can look straggly come the fall.


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

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