43 June 9, 2010

The rainy days and the occasional thunderstorm have given our gardens some much-needed water. With sunny weather forecast for much of the week, the plants should be growing beautifully.

The only drawback to the rain has been that much of the rain has caused the plants to be wet during the nighttime hours. This has begun the arrival of fungus diseases on many plants. If you haven’t done so, take a tour of your gardens and check your plants for signs of fungus diseases. If you do find any signs of disease, make sure to apply an appropriate fungicide to your plants.

Earwigs have made their arrival known by all of the damage they have done to plants. Earwigs tend to feed at night. The only sign of their presence may be the small brown dots on the leaves of plants. We have seen the damage on basil and many other plants.  You may find the earwigs hiding under leaves or you may find them near the plants hiding under mulch. If you don’t know what they look like, they are brown in color with a slender body that has distinctive pinchers on the end of the body. If you apply a pesticide in the evening, you have the best chance for control. If you also have slugs in your garden, a product called Sluggo Plus will control the slugs and the earwigs too.

Over the weekend, we had several customers who felt that it was late for planting their vegetable plants. As I have said before, June is a great time for planting vegetables. Warm days and warm soil temperatures allow the plants to grow quickly. Seeds or plants put into the ground now will catch up quickly with anything planted during late May.

The vegetable plants that you planted during late May will be requiring an application of fertilizer now. Ideal growing conditions have allowed the plants to grow a lot. In order for the plants to continue this growth, you must keep up with the fertilizing right up until frost. Every year, we get customers into the store during late July and August who have tomato plants with green tomatoes but no ripe tomatoes. By asking a few questions, we almost always find out that the plants have not been fertilized for a month or more. Once a regular application of fertilizer has been made, the harvest comes rolling in.

Vegetable plants grown in containers are particularly at risk of not growing well if you do not keep up with applications of fertilizer. Mature plants may need to be fertilized as often as once a week during the latter part of the growing season.

Fertilizing, weeding and watering are all part of the process of having a nice garden.

Now is the time to get the tomato cages placed over your tomato plants. It is so much easier to place the cages over the plants while the plants are relatively small. If you are using stakes to hold up your tomato plants, the stakes should be in place now. This will allow you to begin the process of tying the plants to the stake while it is easier to tie the main stalk to the pole.

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

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