27July 04, 2019

Well, it looks like summer has finally arrived. It would appear that we are in for a week of hot and humid weather.

When the summer heat and humidity arrives, you need to pay more attention to the plants you are growing in containers. Sunny, hot and windy weather can cause your containers to dry out quickly. You should be watering early in the morning. Plants tend to take up water better in the early morning. Getting enough water into the soil allows the soil to provide water to the plants all day long. If you remember back to May and early June, I was telling you that you need to use a good quality soil in a large enough planter in order for your plants to be able to have enough water that is stored in the soil. This is critically important when the warm summer days arrive. Now that the warm weather that is here, you will find that if you heeded my advice, you may be able to get away with just watering those containers once a day. If you skimped on the quality and or quantity of the soil, you may have to water multiple times per day. This becomes difficult if you work or if you go away on vacation.

Let me give you an example of why sufficient water is so important now. Many of you grow tomato plants in containers. Those tomato plants are beginning to flower. Once flowers begin to set on your tomato plants, they need a consistent supply of water. If the soil goes from wet to dry, there is a reaction within the plant that sets up blossom end rot. If you have ever had tomatoes that develop a black patch on the bottom of the tomato, then you have witnessed blossom end rot. The key to preventing this problem is keeping the soil evenly moist when the flowers are forming and being pollinated. Adding supplemental calcium to the soil may help to prevent this problem but keeping the soil evenly moist in those container grown tomatoes is critical.

The word to the wise, even though we have had lots of rainy weather, the soil in your containers and in your gardens will dry out quickly with the arrival of hot sunny weather. Keep the soil moist and your gardens and containers will have happier plants.

I seem to throw out this suggestion every few weeks but it bears repeating again. Are you keeping up with fertilizing those containers and your flower and vegetable beds? As the plants grow, they need to be fertilized on a regular schedule if the plants are to perform their best. It’s up to you to supply the fertilizer. If you don’t, the vegetables will give you fewer vegetable and the flowers will give you fewer flowers.

Well, that’s all for this week. Happy July 4th to all. I’ll talk to you again next week.

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