Summer Gardening

Whether it’s flowers or vegetables, those who grow plants know it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to maintain a garden. With flowers at full bloom and the vegetables ripe for the picking Master Gardener Nancy Carroll knows the importance of watering properly in the blistering heat.

“The best time of day to do that is early in the morning when the water has a chance to dry off your top watering can often cause diseases,” said Carroll.

“If you go down to the base of a plant you’re better off.”
Carroll suggests watering deep into the soil to prevent the roots from coming back up and frying in the sun.

“I try to do the finger test. I kind of go out and I test the soil,” said Carroll. “ I’m kind of on the every other day when it gets this hot and you’re in the 90’s, but most the time when I water deep I don’t have to water but every two or three days.”

The hot sun is not the only issue that can affect your garden in the summer. The Japanese Beetle came over from Japan around 1916 and has destroyed stunning gardens ever since.

“As soon as you see the warm weather come it hatches,” said Carroll. “That’s why you see so many of them because they’re hatching every day.”

While Carroll prefers hand picking the beetles off her plants, she knows that chemicals can also be effective.

“If I have to go to a route of using some kind of a chemical or people want to do that, I recommend a Sevin product,” said Carroll. “Gardeners use it especially in vegetables. It can be washed off.”
When using chemicals it is important to consider the health you and the other living things around you.

“First of all it gets into our water and it gets into the plants. Your animals are around, your kids are around and getting into your skin breathing it causes some serious side effects.”

When using chemicals cover as much skin as possible and spray at night when children are not in the yard.

The National Climatic Data Center found the warmer temperatures at night means the pests are working overtime in your garden. For more information on tips for your garden visit the National Garden Association at www.garden.org.

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