July 22, 2009
If you have been looking at your perennials gardens and they are looking a little sparse in the flowering department, it may be time to be looking at some of the summer flowering perennials. So many gardeners load up on spring flowering perennials and then they forget to go back to the garden centers during the summer months to look at all of the beautiful summer flowering plants. Many of the summer flowering plants have a longer flowering season than the spring flowering perennials. There are many of the summer flowering perennials that will flower from now until September or October. If you want to spice up the perennial beds in your yard, you should be looking at all of the summer flowering perennials.
Fungus diseases continue to be a problem on many plants. It is very important that you use good sanitation practices to avoid spreading diseases from plant to plant. If you have handled any diseased plants, make sure to thoroughly wash your hands before handling any plants that are not infected with a fungus disease. Scissors, knives or pruners that have been used to cut back diseased plants should be sanitized before using them on any plant that is not infected. You can use rubbing alcohol to sanitize the tools or you can use 1 part bleach to 9 parts water mixture to clean tools. Along with cleaning tools and washing your hands, be careful with watering equipment that may come in contact with diseased plants. A watering can or a hose nozzle that comes in contact with a diseased plant can spread disease to other plants. It is also important to clean up any dead leaves, diseased fruit or flowers that fall onto the ground. Over time, these diseased plant parts will drop spores on the ground. The spores will then overwinter and come spring, be splashed up onto plants. The spores will then start up fungus diseases on your plants next season.
I received an e mail from Dave in Newburyport who asked if 10-10-10 fertilizer was OK to use on his vegetable garden. Organic gardeners would probably tell him no, but this type of fertilizer is a balanced fertilizer that will allow for all the growth requirements of your vegetables. Since this fertilizer is a granular fertilizer, it should be applied on the vegetable garden once a month right up until the frost kills the plants. If you slack off late in the season, you will definitely see a slow down in the ripening of tomatoes and the slow down of many vegetables producing the quantity of vegetables that you should be getting right up until frost.
Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.