Not controlling weeds Weeds can be one of the biggest headaches for both the beginning and experienced gardener. It’s always easier to try and keep the weeds out then to get them out later. Weeds compete for nutrition and moisture, and take up valuable root space from our intended crop. Prevent them through the use of mulches that include pine straw, wheat straw, wood chips, newspaper or some type of landscape fabric. Weeds can also be kept at bay by the use of both pre- and post-emergent herbicides. Make sure you read the label on all chemicals to be sure you can use it on the vegetable type you are growing.
Improper fertilization Nutrition is vitally important to all types of vegetables. Too much or too little nutrition can cause major problems in the garden. Too much fertilizer can cause excessive vegetative growth and few blooms or fruit. It can also lead to an increase in your weed population. Too little fertilizer will make plants stunted and unable to produce a good crop. Start with a soil sample through your county extension office to determine the nutritional needs as well as the pH of the soil. In general, most vegetables need fertilization at planting time and then not until they put out their first small fruit. Additional fertilizer may be needed on continuous producing items such as tomatoes, okra, peppers and others.
Improper watering Water is the most essential component of a successful garden. Just like fertilizer, however, too little or too much can cause more harm than good. Most vegetables need between 1 to 2 inches of irrigation a week to thrive. Frequency depends on the soil type and the amount of supplemental rainfall we receive. It’s far healthier for the plants and much more efficient to irrigate with either soaker hoses or drip irrigation. Overhead watering does work, but can lead to foliar diseases and also wastes a lot of water wetting non-target areas.
Denise Duvic, MG
St. John's Wort
Denise Duvic, MG
Mistakes in the Summer Vegetable Garden
Things to Do This Month
Gardening to Do this Month
Plant Crape myrtles in bloom to be sure of color.
Replace turf in deep shade with ground cover: Liriope, Ajuga, or Jasmine.Set out Caladiums in shady areas. Plant summer annuals Ageratum, Cockscomb, Impatiens, Marigolds, Sunflowers, Four-o'clocks, and Periwinkle. Plant Tomatoes late this month to insure harvest late into fall. Cherry Tomatoes are a choice that are heat tolerant. Choose Daylilies now that they are in bloom for planting in your garden. Divide and replant Iris, cut leaves back to 6 inches after transplant. Plant Zinnias and Marigolds now for a second crop of flowers. Plant Snapbeans, Lima beans, Cucumbers, Eggplants, Peppers, Squash, Tomato plants. Gladiolus planted now will give lovely fall blooms.
Fertilize Camellias with Azalea-Camellia fertilizer if not done earlier in the year. Fertilize Bermuda and Zosia grass.Fertilize Tomatoes, Cucumbers, and Zuccines monthly with 5-10-10. Fertilize annuals and perennials.
Mow lawn in the morning to reduce the chance of starting Brown Spot (fungus). Remove Zinnias with powdery mildew and replant.
Prune Oleander after blooming ends.Pinch Dahlias and Mums to assure a compact growth habit.
Remove blackberry fruiting canes after harvest. Prune new canes to encourage side branching. Faded flowers should be removed from Daisy, Daylily, and other summer flowers. Prune out dead and damaged wood from trees and shrubs.
Ageratum, Althea, Balloon Flower, Bee Balm, Begonia, Blackberry Lily, Butterfly Weed, Coreopsis, Cornflower, Fevervew, Funkia, Gladiolus, Hollyhock, Japanese Iris, Lily, Nicotiana, Petunia, Phlox, Rose Scabiosa, Shasta Daisy, Sweet Pea, Verbena, Butterfly Bush, Golden-rain Tree, Hypericum, Mimosa, Stewartia, Sourwood, Vitex, Yucca, Jasmine, Crape myrtle, Daylily, Geranium, Hibiscus, Hydrangea, Impatiens, Lantana, Morning Glory, Oleander, Plumbago, Portulaca, Purslane, Salvia, Veronica, Dusty Miller, Four O'clock, and Zinnia.
Oakleaf hydrangea Hydrangea