35June 27, 2012

The warm weather last week sure made the tomato plants grow. Nothing like some 98-degree weather to make the warm weather plants grow.

There was a downside to plants being exposed to the almost 100 degree weather. If you look around your own yard or a neighbors yard, you may find that the hydrangea plants have damaged leaves. The leaves may be brown along the edges or whole sections of the leaves may be brown or black. If the plants had begun to flower, the flowers may have brown along the edges of the flowers. This damage was caused by the intense heat and by the plants being exposed to the sun and in some cases the wind. The reason this happened was that the roots of the plants could not supply the leaves and flowers with water as fast as the sun was pulling the water out of the leaves. The hydrangeas we have at the store were watered 3 and sometimes 4 times a day during that hot weather. Despite all that watering, we still had some hydrangeas that developed brown leaves. At this point in time, there is really nothing you can do to fix the leaves. You can remove those leaves and cut off any damaged flowers. Your hydrangeas will put out new leaves and with any luck, this will be the only time this summer that we will have temperatures that warm.

Insects are still the bane of many gardeners this summer. Please take the time to check your plants for signs of insect damage and get those insects under control as quickly as possible.

In the last week, I have had customers who had searched the Internet to diagnose problems with their plants. In one instance, the solution given was to spray the leaves with vinegar. The problem arises in that vinegar in a strong enough concentration can act as a weed killer and damage the leaves of the plant. In another instance, the recommendation for aphid control was to mix up some soap and water and spray it on the aphids. This does work, but at a high enough concentration, the soap can act as a weed killer. The Internet can be a great resource for information, but you have to be careful using the homemade cures that are being suggested online. If done improperly, the cure can kill the plant.

I know that I have said it before, but make sure to get those plant supports in place on your tomato plants. It is far easier to train the plants to grow in the tomato cages and it is much easier to tie the plants to stakes if you start early in the season.

The hot weather also showed gardeners the need for using mulch around their plants. Mulch helps to hold moisture in the soil and it helps to keep the soil cooler in the warm weather. If you haven’t had time to mulch your plants, now would be a good time to get that mulch applied around your plants.

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

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