39June 19, 2013

It looks like we might get a week with a few showers but no rainy days. I think even the plants are sick of the rain! I won’t tell you which ones said so.

The rainy weather has created conditions that have allowed slugs and snails to proliferate. It also would appear that the weather has lead to a bumper crop of earwigs. Both of these creatures feed on your plants at night. You may notice holes in the leaves of your plants; yet you may not see any type of insect feeding on your plants. If this is the case, then it is probably slugs or earwigs feeding on your plants. There is a product called Sluggo Plus that will take care of both of these garden pests.

Speaking of garden pests now would be a good time to treat your squash plants to prevent squash vine borer. If you have planted squash in past years and about mid summer you notice that the leaves of the squash wilt during the mid day but appear to snap back in the evening, then you have had the squash borer in your garden. The eggs for this pest are being laid at the base of the vine. There are many insecticides that will kill the borer as it hatches. This will prevent them from getting into the plant and causing major damage.

Caterpillars also appear to be doing damage to your plants. Caterpillars are hitting rose bushes. An application of Bt will kill the caterpillars without harming any beneficial insects.

I have talked about this in past weeks but it does bear repeating at this time. With all of the rain that we have had, much of the fertilizer that you have put down on your plants at planting time is now pretty much washed away. If you want your plants to grow their best, you need to keep up with fertilizing your plants on a regular schedule. You can use organic or synthetic, granular or something you add to water. The important thing is to follow the directions on the package and keep up with a regular feeding schedule. Your plants will thank you by performing at their best.

If you have blueberry bushes or cherry trees in your yard, now is the time to get a protective netting over your plants. As the fruit ripens, the birds will get the ripe fruit before you get a chance to get out of bed in the morning! The berry netting, as it is called, must cover the entire plant and it must be closed at the bottom to keep the birds from getting to the fruit. Berry netting is also useful to cover your strawberry plants. As the strawberries ripen, chipmunks and squirrels will carry away the ripening fruit. The sooner you put your netting over these plants the less fruit you will lose to the critters.

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

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