Friday, July 5, 2019

Summer Garden Maintenance

  Early in the spring, when you couldn't wait to shed your winter blues and get into your garden, you greeted the temperate days of March with vigor and zeal. Now in the clutches of a blistering hot summer, you are not so enthusiastic. This leaves a lot of us staring out a window at our flowers and veggies, daydreaming about what we need to do about the wilted plants that are calling out to us.
  Our first instinct is to water them! Just like us, plants are very dependant on proper hydration. But timing is the key to success. If you are not an early riser, rest assured that you will be. Morning is the very best time to carry some water to your plants. You will want to try not to get the leaves of the plant too wet and water from beneath the foliage. If you do water the leaves, water early enough in the day so that the foliage dries before night.  
Mulching with grass cuttings or straw can help to maintain moisture levels in the soil. You'll want to be mindful of how thick you layer your mulch as putting it on too thick can prevent water from getting to the roots.
You will want to be sure to get the majority of the weeds pulled out from around your plants as they can steal valuable nutrients from your beloved garden. We do not recommend using chemical herbicides in your garden but there are a few natural inhibitors such as corn meal and mulches. While tending to the weeds take the time to observe your plants for signs of pests or disease. If pests are detected you can use an insecticidal soap spray to aid in ridding your garden of these unwanted guests.
At this time you are most likely seeing some rewards from your gardening effort. Squash, cucumbers, and tomatoes are all producing by now unless you planted late, then it may be a tad bit longer. We have hit a bit of a hot spell in this area and our gardens have demanded a little extra moisture than what mother nature sometimes provides. It is important to try to maintain an even moisture for your plants so that they can produce the best harvest possible. Too much moisture may lead to root rot, blight, or even mildews and molds. Any of these can prove fatal to your plants.

  Tending to the maintenance of your garden regularly will keep your yields healthy and plentiful. May your efforts produce a bountiful harvest!

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