38June 15, 2017

OK, who left the heat on? In the past few years, we seem to have gone from late winter directly into the heat of summer. Heat and humidity has never been a favorite combination for me.

Last week’s spell of cold and rainy weather raised havoc with any of the cucumber plants that you have in your garden. In many cases, the plants died due to the cold and rain. You can remove the plants and put in new plants, or you still have time to reseed your cucumber plants.

The rainy weather turned out to be the best friend to one of the garden pests you never notice. Slugs feed only at night. The rainy nights have made it easy for them to get to your plants, crawl up on your plants and to devour the leaves of your plants. With cool and wet weather, the slug population has skyrocketed.

If you want to know if it is slugs that are feeding on your plants, go outside with a flashlight about an hour after it becomes really dark. You may notice what looks like a fat worm on the leaves of your plants. If you do notice them, you should apply slug bait around the plants upon which the slugs are feeding. The slugs eat the bait, almost immediately get sick and they turn around and go home to die.

Lawns have started to show signs of fungus diseases. If you find black or brown spots on the blades of grass, you should be applying an appropriate fungicide to your lawn. If you don’t do this, the fungus disease can kill your lawn. If you have not fertilized your lawn in over 8 weeks, an application of fertilizer will definitely go a long way in helping your lawn to recover from an attack by a fungus disease.

Many plants have grown well with all the rain we have had in the last few months. Now that the rain has stopped, your plants will need fertilizer if they are going to continue to grow properly. If you have not recently applied fertilizer to all your plants, make sure that this is one gardening project that you must do this weekend.

There is still time to plant your vegetable garden. Sure, your crops may be a little later in the season, but you still have time for you seeds or plants to give you a crop of fresh vegetables. Avoid trying to plant cool-weather vegetable crops. The heat of summer will not be their friend. If you wait until late August, you can seed cool weather crops again – and with any luck have fresh cool weather vegetables right up until Thanksgiving.

Have you fertilized your window boxes and your flowering hanging baskets? These types of planters were planted in May and many have grown well. However, they will need a regular application of fertilizer if you want the plants to continue to grow. Most fertilizers for container-grown plants recommend that you feed every 2 weeks. It’s time to feed those plants.

If you see black caterpillars on the leaves of your oak or maple trees, you have gypsy moth caterpillars feeding on your trees. If you spray BT onto the leaves of your trees, this organic control will kill the caterpillars. You must apply this spray soon if you want to control the caterpillars. If you wait too long, the caterpillars will get too big for any control method to be effective. We have BT and hose end sprayers in our store. The hose end sprayer will allow you to get the spray up to 25 feet into the trees.

With all the rain we have had, you would think that watering your plants would be a useless waste of time. However, hot and sunny weather can dry out your soil quickly. I know that we have had to do a lot of watering at the store during the heat wave. Check your plants, particularly those grown in containers, for signs of dry soil. Check your gardens too.

If your plants need water, it is best to water in the morning. Plants will take up the water and will be better able to survive the hot sun. You should not be watering the plants at night unless it is necessary to save the plants. Wet leaves on the plants during the nighttime hours are an open invitation for fungus diseases to attack your plant.

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

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