Gardening with Laurie: Summertime gardening
By Laurie Garretson
We all know that it's a lot more fun to garden in the spring and fall than it is during the summer. But, like it or not, landscapes do require some attention this time of year. In fact, summer is the most crucial time to keep watch over your landscape. Keeping a close watch over all your yard helps you to catch pests or diseases when they first become a problem. It's always easier to correct garden problems before they become an infestation.
Transplanting during the summer is always best done early morning or late evening. During these cooler hours the plant will be less stressed. After replanting give the plant a good drink of some of your liquid seaweed fertilizer. Seaweed is good for all kinds of things, especially helping plants in stress.
Mosquitoes are starting to show up, so occasionally check for standing water in any containers that could hold water. You don't want to provide mosquitoes with any place where they could breed. Add Mosquito Dunks or Mosquito Bits to ponds and bird baths to kill any mosquito larva.
Summer-stressed plants can use all the help they can get, so keep up the fertilizing. Of course, all organic fertilizers can be applied at any time of the year without any fear of burning. If it's been at least three months since you've fed your lawn, now would be an important time to feed it again. All of your landscape is about to go through the most stressful time of the year, keeping everything watered, well-mulched and fed can make a big difference.
Wouldn't gardening be so much more enjoyable without weeds? Unfortunately, weeds are something that most of us have to put up with to some extent or another. Many weeds are forming seed heads at this time. Each of these seed heads will produce hundreds of seeds that will blow around in your landscape and drop somewhere to then sprout a new weed plant. If kept mowed, these seeds will not be able to produce seed heads.
Pulling weeds can easily become a monotonous and labor-intensive job. A moist soil can make the process a bit easier. Water the area to be weeded real well the night before. Come morning, while it's still cooler, you'll have an easier time pulling the weeds out. If you have an area of undesirable vegetation that you'd like to kill, use really strong vinegar. It's much safer for you, the soil and the environment to use vinegar than any of the man-made synthetic herbicides.
Until next time, let's try to garden with nature, not against it, and maybe all our weeds will become wildflowers.
Laurie Garretson is a Victoria gardener and nursery owner. Send your gardening questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or in care of the Advocate, P.O. Box 1518, Victoria, TX 77902.