Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Summer Gardening Maintenance

It's the little things that make your garden continue to look beautiful throughout the summer. However, those little things can add up if you don't stay on top of the tasks.

In the Flower Garden:
Time to get out the garden pruners and get started on your flowers. Dead head your annuals and perennials. Dead heading is the task of either picking off or pruning off spent blooms. This helps to stimulate new growth on your plants.

If any of your annuals have died it is time to pull them out of the garden. If the plant seems healthy (other than being dead) send it to the compost pile.

Don't forget to weed your flower beds and be sure they have enough mulch.

If you have perennials that are taller and are starting to have trouble with swaying you may want to stake them to keep them from breaking.

While you are tending to your plants watch for pests. Be sure to treat your plants for the type of pest problem they are experiencing. There are many ways to treat your garden for pests from organic to chemical, and home-made to store bought. Do proper research to find out which methods are best for you and your garden.

Plant your fall and spring blooming bulbs in late summer.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Scare off Garden Pests

There are many critters and insects that want to share in the bounty from your hard work and some will wipe out the food before you have a chance to enjoy it yourself. So which critters are the most common, and what can you do to get rid of them?

The biggest offender for most gardens is deer. Most deer are caught gobbling up the garden's plants late in the evening or early in the morning. But if you haven't seen them, their damage to plants is obvious. Their teeth leave a jagged irregular cut in vegetation that they have been snacking on. (We've gone over how to deter deer from your garden in the past also).

Raccoons come in a close second for the biggest garden offender. Unlike deer that will eat nearly all the garden plants, racoons main focus is corn, melons, and tomatoes. The biggest sign of a raccoon in your garden? Their foot prints.

Rabbits and various rodents tend to leave plants looking like they have been cut by scissors. Also, these types of pest tend to avoid corn, tomatoes, potatoes, squash, cucumbers and several types of peppers. But the plants they do enjoy, well those can be ruined by these creatures food forages.

And as any of us know that deal with fruits, birds can do quite a bit of damage, even to some vegetables.

So what can you do to keep these critters away from your garden?

Be sure you locate your garden as far away from the edges of the woods as possible. Be sure to keep the area around your garden well mowed and keep places for animals to hide either completely gone or to a bare minimum. When animals feel that they have an easy get away, they are more likely to target your garden for their food source. If they feel that it is too dangerous and too open, then they may pass your garden by and find food elsewhere.

Use scare crows, wind chimes, fake owls, and objects that smell like a human, such as hair from your local barber. Assaulting all of the animals senses will make them more fearful of your garden.

For deer, a fence can help to keep them out. However, a traditional fence raccoons will just climb over, while rodents can squeeze through the fencing, but with an electric fence other animals will be deterred as well as the deer. Be careful with an electric fence, be sure to turn off the current to it before going into your garden to ensure that you do not give yourself a shock. Also, if you have young children who will be near the fenced in garden, an electric fence is not the best option. If you decide to go with an electric fence, you will need to get electric fence supplies and learn how to safely install and use one.

For more tips on deterring wildlife visit the source below.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Can you over fertilize your garden?

Actually, it is quite easy to over fertilize. How do you know if you've done so?

One of the first things that starts to happen when you've over fertilized is that they leaves start getting a much darker green, even to the point of being a bluish green. They will also start to get a leathery feel to them. The upper most leaves will start to wilt and be limp to the touch. After almost 2 weeks you will notice that the edges of your leaves will start to discolor and look burnt.

So if you have over fertilized, what should you do?

Flushing the soil is about the only thing that you can do, and this does not always work depending on how badly damaged your plants are when you realize they have been over-fertilized. But it is worth giving it a shot.

To flush the soil you will want to first rinse all the plants to be sure there is no residue of the fertilizer on the leaves otherwise the fertilize will rinse off them with the next rain and get into the soil, resulting in a repeat of the over-fertilization of the soil.

You will need a soaker hose. Set up your hose around the soil that has been over fertilized. be sure when you turn on your hose that the water comes out at a rate that allows it to be soaked into the dirt instead of puddling on top of it. Continue watering like this for 10 to 15 minutes. Repeat this process again in 2 hours and throughout the day.

Friday, June 8, 2012

How Should you Water your Garden?

Before you lug out the garden hose and begin watering your plants, there are a few things that you should keep in mind when watering your garden:

If you have newly planted seeds you will want to water often. For germination to take place, moisture is important. For watering seeds, you will want to water them lightly but consistently.

After the plants have started growing, you should water once or twice a week. Water plants deeply so that their roots are encouraged to grow deeper. Shallow roots on the plants make them dependent upon more frequent waterings. Water them long enough that about 6 inches of soil is saturated.

During extremely hot weather and droughts your plants will need to be watered a bit more frequently as they will start to suffer and show signs of wilt.

To keep your water from evaporating too quickly you will want to water the plants in the morning or evening, preferable before 10 a.m. or after 5p.m. (the later the better, especially on particularly hot days.)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Summer Garden Tips

Here are some summer gardening tips to help your garden stay healthy all summer long:
  • Water plants in the mornings, before the temperature begins to rise. You will want to water at least once a week, and water plants deeply to prevent the roots from becoming too shallow and drying out quickly. 
  • Prune rose bushes back after the first bloom. Cut back all dead wood as well. 
  • Monitor plants regularly for pest and disease problems and treat accordingly.
  • Check container plants daily for their watering needs. 
  • If you enjoy having birds visit your yard be sure to provide fresh water for them, a bird bath will do the trick. 
  • In your garden be sure to continue wedding regularly.

We would love to hear your summer gardening tips and tricks, please share with us in the comments or on our facebook page at:

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