Home > Great Big Greenhouse Blog > July 2015 > BONNIE'S GARDEN--Mother Nature, Did You Leave the Water Running?

BONNIE'S GARDEN--Mother Nature, Did You Leave the Water Running?

Seems like we’ve been dodging a lot of raindrops the past couple of weeks.  It’s nice to have had the breather for my water bill.  So what does this period of wet weather mean for me, as a gardener? 

My lawn looks nice and green, right now.  So do the weeds.  Ever noticed how weeds seem to grow so much faster than grass?  I’m not one looking for that green velvet lawn—I don’t mind sharing my grass with clover or the occasional dandelion.  But I know some people who simply can’t stand those weeds invading their green turf.  So, something to think about.  If you put a broadleaf weed-killer down right now, it will kill the weeds.  However because mid-summer is one of the worst possible times to over-seed lawns, you’ll be looking at that bare spot where the weeds used to be until September.  Me?  If I absolutely had to get rid of the weeds, I’d live with them until August, then get rid of them and over-seed a month later.

Something else to think about, some plants don’t care for excessively cloudy, wet weather so keep an eye out for roses, tomatoes, etc.  Even a Knock-Out rose can get black spot or powdery mildew in this kind of weather and tomatoes are prone to Early Blight, Late Blight, Alternaria Leaf Spot and other fungal problems.  If brown spots show up on lower leaves, then pick them off and consider organic garden Sulphur.  And, yes, you do want to pick the leaves off—don’t let them fall and lay on the ground.  The fungus can release spores and re-infect the plant.  But, otherwise, try to avoid handling wet plants.  It’s easier to transmit diseases.  Except for snipping off infected foliage, save pruning for dryer weather.

On my way to work this morning, I drove by two different lawns with sprinklers going—even as I turned on my wipers to take care of a few stray raindrops on my windshield.  I’m glad it’s their water bill, not mine.  And for those of my neighbors who have their lawn sprinklers on automatic—watch for brown patch right now in your lawns.  As much as you don’t like the weeds, at least they’re green.  Brown patch is a lawn fungal disease that leaves ugly brown dead patches all over what used to be your lush green lawn.  To address this problem, read Doug’s June blog on fungal problems.  Oh, and remember to avoid walking on wet turf, whenever possible.

And one more thing that rainy stretches of weather mean, more opportunities for water to puddle in saucers, etc. for mosquitoes to lay eggs, so do an occasional patrol looking for any areas of standing water.  A mosquito needs a scant half-tablespoon of water to lay her eggs.  I have a chipped area in a splash-guard under my downspouts that can hold a tablespoon or so of water and I have seen mosquito eggs floating in it.

One last note, excessively rainy weather can leach nutrients from the soil, so keep an eye out for nutrient deficiencies in your garden. If using organic fertilizers and you’re just a few days away from needing to apply more, then go ahead and apply a few days early.  It won’t hurt anything.  
Posted: 7/13/2015 by Bonnie Pega | with 0 comment(s)
Filed under: Bonnie's, Garden, gardening, weather, wet
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