When summer officially arrives we tend to move into enjoyment mode in our gardens. We’ve had a great time planting all of the annuals, perennials, trees, shrubs and vegetables. With the rain we had, I thought I’d never get things planted, especially my vegetables!
With summer here, there are a few easy preventative maintenance things that we can do in our gardens to keep them growing, blooming and producing. First off, keep the plants fertilized regularly. Depending on the target plants, I’ll tend to fertilize with one of the granular fertilizers from ferti-lome. When in doubt, I suggest Gardener’s Special. With its 11-15-11 analysis, it pretty much works for about any garden plant. Applied monthly, it keeps plants fed well.
One thing I’m experiencing in my garden is blossom end rot on my tomatoes. It’s easy to diagnose, presenting with a brown/black, leathery patch on the bottom of the fruit. Blossom end rot is caused by calcium deficiency and/or fluctuations in moisture. I add Hi-Yield Calcium Nitrate to the soil when planting and again two weeks later. Tomatoes also benefit from having gypsum worked into the soil at planting time. I use drip irrigation and mulch to sustain an even water supply to the plant. Now I’ll use ferti-lome Yield Booster. It is a high-calcium foliar food that increases fruit size and helps prevent blossom-end rot.
We tend to need controls for insects and diseases this time of year as well. Investing a little time before there is an outbreak pays off. Always read, understand and follow label directions. Only use products formulated for the target pest and host plant. If it does not list ‘vegetables’ on the label, then don’t apply the product on vegetables! Here are a few of my favorite safe and easy-to-apply products which will be great controls for our pests in our gardens:
ferti-lome Green Organic Horticulture Oil Spray controls many insects, mites, and scale on roses, flowers, fruits, vegetables, houseplants, and trees. Horticultural Oil works in both the dormant and growing seasons. It controls all stages of insects, including eggs. It’s also OMRI labeled for organic gardening, so it’s my preferred way to get rid of aphids, mites, leafhoppers, mealybugs, scale, whitefly, and powdery mildew.
ferti-lome Green Spinosad selectively controls worms and caterpillars, including bagworms, spider mites, tent caterpillars, and other chewing insects. Use it on vegetable gardens, lawns, ornamental trees, citrus, shrubs and flower beds. It’s also OMRI listed for organic use.
Keep Broad Spectrum Landscape & Garden Fungicide from ferti-lome on hand to take care of many kinds of fungus throughout the garden and landscape. Landscape & Garden Fungicide treats fruit trees, vegetables, trees, shrubs, and ornamental plants, controlling anthracnose, leaf blights, downy mildew, powdery mildew, leaf curl, scab, black spot, fusarium leaf spot, and many more diseases listed on the label.
When in doubt, bring in a sample of what’s bugging you into the store in a Ziplock bag, and we’ll get you the control for the pest that’s needing attention in your garden.
Your friend in the garden,
Owner - Johnson's Garden Center