Home > Great Big Greenhouse Blog > July 2017 > BONNIE'S GARDEN--Six Things You Should Probably Do in Your Garden Now.

BONNIE'S GARDEN--Six Things You Should Probably Do in Your Garden Now.

Midsummer.  We’ve gotten that first tomato (and several dozen others) now, we’ve been picking cucumbers, beans and squash for a few weeks and our zinnias and marigolds are blooming their brains out.

But there are some really important things we can do now to ensure things remain good for the rest of the summer.
  1. Water correctly.  The heat is miserable right now and plants are drying out faster.  Since we’ve got to go to all the trouble of watering, doing it right means less work in the long run.  When possible, water first thing in the morning so less water evaporates and more sinks in.  This also ensures foliage has a chance to dry quickly, rather than staying wet—inviting fungal problems.  When you water, water deeply rather than a surface sprinkle.  Good deep waterings encourage roots to go deeper, giving you a healthier more vigorous root system.   A soaker hose can be your best friend right now.
  2. Keep vegetable and flower beds weeded.  Plants do not like to compete for water or nutrients.  Since weeds tend to be fast growing, they use up available water and nutrients faster.  They also cut down on good air circulation and they can host insects and diseases.
  3. Fast growing plants have used up most of the fertilizer you applied in the beginning.   If you have not been feeding regularly, then your blooming and/or fruiting plants will definitely appreciate another dose right now.
  4. Keep flowers dead-headed and veggies picked.  Dead-heading not only makes your flowers look better, but annual flowers can stop producing if you allow the dead flowers to set seed.  The plant figures it’s done its job so it can stop blooming.  Vegetables like green beans, squash, and cucumbers can stop producing if you allow the fruits to remain on the plant to the point that they are over-ripe.  Again, they figure they’ve done their job and can rest.
  5. Stay on top of problems.  Squash bugs are out now, so are tomato hornworms.  Powdery mildew is rampant and it’s about time for late blight to begin showing up on tomatoes.  Early detection makes all the difference. 
  6. Begin thinking about what you want to plant for fall.  Fresh 2018 seeds for fall planting are here—perennial flowers and cool season veggies like broccoli, beets, kale, spinach, and lettuces.  I’ll be starting seeds for some of those in the next week or two.
Maybe the most important thing you can do is to take time to sit on your deck with a glass of iced tea and appreciate all your hard work.  Cut some of those zinnias to put in a vase inside; share some of the bounty of your garden with your neighbors or co-workers.  If you have a lot of cucumbers, try a pickle recipe (I have a really good one I’ll share); if you have a boatload of green beans, freeze some for later.  Appreciate how much better everything tastes when it’s fresh.
Posted: 7/18/2017 by Bonnie Pega | with 0 comment(s)
Filed under: Bonnie's, Garden, summer, vegetable
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