|Edition 10.27||Paul Parent Garden Club News||July 8, 2010|
Dramm Rain Wands
Dramm has been making professional watering tools for nurseries, greenhouse growers and avid gardeners for over 65 years. Dramm strives to produce products that save time and energy while providing quality products that will last a lifetime.
With the Rain Wand™, you are able to apply large quantities of water quickly at the plant base, where it soaks deep into the soil.
Dramm Rain Wand™ brand watering tools are available only at the best lawn, garden and nursery centers.
In the perennial garden this month, be sure to deadhead the faded flowers from your plants as the flowers fade. Your perennial plants will make seeds if the faded flowers are not removed from the plant. If you deadhead, that energy will be used to make the plant stronger during the summer heat, grow larger for next season and finally make a few more flowers during the summer. Your garden will look nicer as later blooming perennial flowers come into bloom. If you are going to pick flowers from the garden, try to do it early before the heat builds. Pick flowers regularly from your garden for the kitchen table and bring the beauty of the garden into your home.
In the annual or cutting garden this month, it is important to pick flowers regularly so the plant can respond to the picking with much more new growth and more flowers. The removal of flowers stimulates side buds to develop new branches and flowers. The more you pick, the more the plants will flower for you. As in the perennial garden, be sure to remove faded flowers so the plant does not use its energy to make seeds you do not need. When you pick flowers regularly, be sure to fertilize every two weeks to help the plant replace the flowers you picked. Use Miracle-Gro or Blooming and Rooting fertilizer every 2 weeks this month.
In the vegetable garden this month, pick vegetables like squash, cucumbers, beans and peas when they are young. Young vegetables will have better taste, fewer and smaller seeds, and the plant will work harder to replace the vegetables harvested. The more you pick, the more vegetables will be produced. Over-ripe vegetables should go into the compost pile to improve next year's garden soil. When the temperatures get hot increase the watering to the garden and when possible try to keep the water off the foliage of the plants to help control disease problems. Dry garden soils will cause misshapen vegetables and bitter taste so be sure to water as needed. The best time to water is in the morning and worst is after seven in the evening.
On the lawn, be sure to water when possible to help keep it green and healthy. Lawns need one inch of water a week, unless the temperatures exceed 90° during the week, in which case you'll need more water. Water early in the morning, so water has a chance to soak in the soil to the roots or the hot sun will evaporate it before the roots can use it. Fertilize with an organic fertilizer like Converted Organics or Milorganite if you are able to water regularly. Organic Water Wizard applied now and watered into the lawn will help a great deal. Go to www.uwaterless.com for more information. If the lawn needs mowing, keep it cut high--3 to 3. 5 inches tall--to shade the soil and keep out weeds. Look for crabgrass in your lawn and if found treat with Crabgrass Killer NOW or it will kill the grass in an area about one foot in diameter now and make 500 plus seeds in the fall for more problems next year.
The lawn project I want you to avoid is seeding of a new lawn--until the weather cools off again. Late August to early October is the best time to re-seed or start a new lawn for your home. So live with what you have until the weather changes.
In the rose garden, be sure to remove the faded flowers down to the second leaf that contains five leaflets on the leaf. This is important if you want the flowers to keep coming on the plant. If flowers are not removed up to the second five-leaflet leaf, the stem will go blind and stop producing flowers. Roses are very hungry during the summer, so be sure to feed with liquids every two weeks or with a granular fertilizer every month. I like Dr. Earth Rose fertilizer with Pro-biotic when applied monthly during June, July, August and September. Heat can also bring spider mites insects to the plant and Bayer Advance Insect, Disease, and Mite Control will work very well for you. When watering your roses, keep the water off the foliage of your roses and disease problems will be less of a problem in your rose garden. Roses will need about one inch of water per week to keep flowering--or more if temperatures exceed 90 degrees.
Newly planted shrubs will require watering weekly with all the heat of the summer. The new plant is sending out roots to establish itself in your yard, and water with occasional liquid fertilizers will speed up this work. Evergreens will require more water than deciduous plants during the summer and flowering plants more than non-flowering plants. Watering must continue well into the fall season to prepare the plants for the winter. To speed up the rooting of your plants and use Plant Thrive fertilizer monthly. Thrive also contains mycorrhizae for stronger roots. Cover the soil with mulch or compost 2 to 3 inches thick to prevent the soil from drying up so fast, and regularly pull any weeds that develop.
Newly planted trees will require a lot of water during periods of hot weather. I planted several flowering pears this spring and noticed this week that the watering I was doing was not enough--and a couple of the trees were drooping, so be sure to water more. Liquid feeding with Miracle-Gro, or Drammatic Fertilizers from Dramm Watering Products will help to keep foliage green and healthy. Mulch around the tree will also help cool the roots of the tree and keep weeds out. If the tree is over six feet tall, it will have to be staked and wrapped for the winter but that is a project for another day. Check the foliage regularly for Japanese beetle damage, as they are eating the leaves of many plants now. I found them on my birches, flowering pear, flowering plum, flowering cherry and beach roses in the past couple of weeks. Spray them with Garden "Eight" from Bonide Lawn and Garden, found only at your local garden center--not box stores. Apply early in the day, before the temperature rises above 80 degrees, and reapply in a couple of weeks if needed.
Fruit trees-both new and established--will have larger and better tasting fruit if watered regularly. If you are going to use sprinklers, be sure not to wet the foliage of the plants or it will encourage disease problems. To keep the trees insect and disease free you will have to keep up with your bi-monthly spraying program or use the new Bayer Advanced "Fruit, Citrus and Vegetable Insect control and a good Fungicide like Serenade.
In your container garden, plants are growing quickly now and that means they will need to be fertilized and watered more often. Once the plant is established, the growth will accelerate and so will the flowers. Remember that the roots are confined to the container and cannot look for water or food outside of it. You are responsible for the results of those plants, so keep an eye on them and remove faded flowers as needed. Containers gardens dry up faster than ground gardens so water more often. Fertilize your containers every other week if possible and clean plants of faded flowers.
Houseplants have been neglected the last couple of months as we have been concentrating on the outdoor plants. Let us clean them up, fertilize them and if needed repot them this month. Transplanting is best for our plants, when the plant is actively growing. Increase the pot size by 2 inches in width when repotting plants and not larger. Make sure there is drainage in the pot and use a good quality potting soil like Miracle-Grow Potting soil or the new Espoma Potting Soil with mycorrhizae. Firm the soil around the root ball and water the plant well. I also like to fertilize when replanting to insure the plant likes its new larger container. Check for insect problems and treat if necessary.
Controlling weeds around the yard and garden is necessary, and when it gets hot, it is the best time to destroy them. Poison ivy, poison oak, and other problem weeds will die faster when the weather is. The weed killers move faster in the plant and control is better also. If you're dealing with weeds that have a shiny leaf, I have found that a bit of liquid soap like "Dawn" will make the weed killer work better. The soap will make the product stick to the foliage better, especially if you are watering with "well water," as the water may be hard and wash off the foliage quickly. In the driveway, on walkways and on garden paths use products like Round-up, Kleen-up or Kills-all to do the job for you. Just wet the foliage of the plant and do not worry about soaking to the soil, as these products are not absorbed by the roots of the plant, only the foliage. If you are going to use the container for other jobs later, be sure to clean it well after applying the weed killer or you could kill plants later with product left in the container.
Ground covers may get a bit weedy at this time of the year, so be prepared to pull a few weeds now or many weeds later. If it is a big project, do a bit each night after work as a way to unwind after a busy day in the office. A bottle of beer or a soft drink along with the radio and the weeds are soon history. Fertilize them when finished with fertilizer and weed preventer combination like Ferti-lome Start and Grow Plus. This is a fertilizer for your ground covers and a weed preventer, so you will not have to do it again this year.
Visit your favorite Nursery or Garden Center this week and look for sales on plants to fill in holes in your garden. Not every plant you put into your garden will mature and this time of the year, you can fill in that empty space in the garden and save a few dollars at the same time. Many garden centers grow a summer crop of annuals in 6 to 8 inch pots just for this. These plants will make your garden look great again. Summer annuals or oversized perennials in full bloom make a great gift for parties, a wedding or a gift for a friend who needs a bit of cheering up. It's not too late to finish your landscape projects at this time of the year and the warm soil will help to get the plants established quickly.
Walk your property weekly and check for insects and disease problems. The summer brings many problems and if we can catch them early, the problems will be minimal. Humidity brings us powdery mildew, a white film on the foliage of many plants that can be stopped with Serenade, so treat the plants as soon as you see the problem. Japanese beetles are here, so treat your plants when you see them, and soon the tomato hornworms will soon arrive to feast on our tomatoes and peppers. Check your garden often and your problems will stay small. Do not be afraid to ask for help and visit your local garden center with a sealed baggy full of bugs, diseases leaves or weeds. Your fellow gardeners will also help you if you ask for help. Call me on Sunday mornings and I will do the best to help you also. There is so question about gardening that I have not heard of before. You are not alone with your garden problems unless you do not ask for help, and most gardeners love to help each other.
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