From the Desk of Ed Hume: Summer Garden Projects

July 2, 2012 at 12:00 AM Leave a comment

Summer is the time to sit back and enjoy the garden.  But at the same time don’t let a few possible problems like weeds, slugs, and bugs ruin the things you’ve done to get the garden in shape.  In fact, here are a few things you might want to observe to be certain they don’t get out of control:

Slugs are a good example!  As long as the weather is relatively warm you won’t see many of them.  But if it rains a little or when you water the garden, out they come.  In a relatively short time they can raise havoc by devouring the foliage of flowers and vegetables. So be on the look-out for slugs and snails, and if you find them or the damage they create, take steps to control them.

Weeds can also be another summer problem in all parts of the garden.  Remember they not only look ugly and ruin the appearance of the garden, they are also hosts to many insects and diseases.  In addition, weeds rob valuable nutrients from your favorite garden shrubs, flowers, and vegetables.  So you may need to spend a little time weeding.

If you have a spot or two in the garden that needs a bit of color, this would be a good time to fill in those spots with “color spots.”  At this time of the year garden centers, nurseries, and plant departments feature annuals and perennials in full bloom, hence the name “color spots.”  It’s instant color for your garden.

I would suggest you delay most pruning until later this fall.  However, if something is getting a little leggy or out of shape, minor shearing or pinching may be needed.

July 4th is the day to feed corn with nitrogen.  Actually it doesn’t have be just that day, because any time in the first couple of weeks of July are ideal for feeding corn with a nitrogen fertilizer.

Later this month you may want to seed some of the winter vegetables like carrots and beets.  Lettuce, spinach, radishes, and any of the quick-growing winter crops can be seeded in August.

In the vegetable garden, check the maturing crops so that you can harvest them at the peak of maturity.  Some vegetables like radishes, lettuce, spinach, and others lose their flavor and get a tough texture quickly if they are not harvested at the correct time.

This is also a wonderful time to add permanent plants like perennials and summer flowering shrubs to the garden.  Consider some of the plants that have attractive leaf color and textures as well, and don’t forget the fragrant plants!

For more ideas on things to do in the garden now and at other times of the year log-on-to www.humeseeds.com

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Ed’s Podcasts: Summer Perennials From the Desk of Ed Hume: Instant Color with “Color Spots”

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