39June 8, 2017

The extended cool and rainy weather looks to be followed by a heat wave early next week. This roller coaster weather will have some ramifications for our plants. Let’s try to figure out what can happen and see if there is anything you should be doing to protect your plants.

Cool and rainy weather can raise havoc on some plants. If you planted cucumber plants in the last 2 weeks, you may have noticed that the leaves appear to be damaged. This can be caused by the cold, rain and wind. An application of fertilizer may help them to snap back once the weather warms up a bit. Unfortunately, you may have plants that have been damaged to the point that they will die. At the store, we have had to throw out any number of cucumber plants that died due to adverse weather.

Extended cool and rainy weather can also get your plants acclimated to being in cool and wet weather. A sudden turnaround to sunny and hot weather can cause your plants to get sunburned. Leaves may turn almost clear in color. Hopefully, the weather may gradually get sunny and increasingly warm. This may help your plants to acclimate to the changing weather. An application of fertilizer will also help your plants to fight off the adverse effect of suddenly changing weather.

With all the rain that we have had, many plants are growing based on the large amount of water they are receiving now. Once the rain stops, the plants will need fertilizer to sustain that growth. During rainy weather, people tend to forget to fertilize their plants. Your plants need fertilizer to strengthen the stems of the plants, to help in flower bud formation and most importantly to help your plants to fight off diseases. Once you can get out into the garden, you should be giving your plants an application of fertilizer.

A long period of cool and wet weather will lead to an increase in fungus diseases on your plants. You should be looking at all of your plants for signs of fungus diseases. Brown or black spots or a powdery look to the leaves are two of the most common signs of a fungus disease on your plants. The first impulse is to pick the leaves off the plant. This can be effective but you do not want to do this when the leaves are still wet. You could be inadvertently spreading the disease to uninfected parts of the plant. It would be better to wait until the leaves are dry before picking off the leaves. You should also treat the healthy leaves with an application of a fungicide. This will help to stop the spread of the disease. There are also a number of organic fungicides that will kill the spores of the diseases that may attack the healthy leaves. Spores are the “eggs” of the disease. Once the spores “hatch “ they will get the disease spreading on your plants. With the cool and rainy weather we have had, a preventative application of a fungicide is highly recommended.

One of the most commonly asked questions this past week has been “ Is it too late to start my vegetable garden? “ The old adage has been that vegetable plants were always planted around Memorial Day. In the old days, Memorial Day was on the 30th of May. Planting now or in the next week will make your plants a bit late in growing, but by July your plants and the plants others planted in mid May will be the same size. If you haven’t gotten around to planting your vegetable garden or if you haven’t gotten around to planting the annual flowers, don’t worry; you still have time to do so.

Well, that’s all for this week. Lets hope for a week of sunny weather. This will help the plants and will also help our mindset of wanting to get outside to garden.

I’ll talk to you again next week.

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