36June 20, 2012

We had another nice weekend for planting our gardens. I must admit that the weather was weird on Saturday but Sunday was gorgeous.

There were many people who came into the store and were not sure if they could still plant. Several people asked if it was OK to plant trees and shrubs. The vast majority of the trees and shrubs are grown in containers. All of the root system for the plant is inside the container. Unless you damage the roots putting the plant in the ground, the plants roots will take off and the plant will be no worse for wear. You may need to amend the soil with planting mix if your soil is poor in quality or if the plant needs a lot of moisture around the roots. Otherwise you can put the plant in the ground, give it a bit of plant starter fertilizer to help get the roots growing and then give the plant water on a regular basis.
You can also plant any of the container grown perennials all summer long. You may need to amend the soil but as long as you keep the plants watered to get the roots established, you should be fine.
There is still time to plant your vegetable garden. If you buy early maturing varieties of tomato and if you get started plants of squash, cucumber and peppers, you will get a good crop. There are many vegetables that you can start from seed in your garden. Green beans, yellow beans, beets, carrots, New Zealand spinach and many different types of greens can still be planted in your garden. You should also remember that there are many vegetables that you can plant in mid August through September that will give you vegetables late into the fall.

With a forecast for hot weather for midweek, it is important to keep up with watering your tomato plants. If the soil goes from wet to dry and then back to wet, you set up the tomato plants for the development of blossom end rot. This condition is caused by a lack of calcium. This lack of calcium causes a black patch to develop on the bottom of the tomato. Once this shows up on the tomato, there is nothing you can do to fix this condition on afflicted tomatoes. Prevention is the only thing you can do. You can spray your tomato plants with liquid calcium, but consistent moisture in the soil is the best prevention for this problem. If you are growing your tomatoes in containers it is critical that you keep up with watering the plants.

Insects are thriving on everyone’s plants. Earwigs have become a problem. Slugs are still busy eating the plants. Both of these critters do much of their damage at night. It is important that you watch your gardens for signs of pests and take measures to get them under control. All garden pests can do major damage to your plants in just a few days.
Your rhododendrons and azaleas are probably done blooming. Now is the time to prune them back, if necessary, and to apply fertilizer to help them to get out new growth and to set their flower buds for 2013.

For the most part, the hard work of planting is done and now you can wait for the first vegetables from your garden. Water and the correct type of fertilizer will help the plants to give you a bountiful harvest. If you need help with your gardens, we are at the store 7 days a week.

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

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