Dog Days of Summer
††† Star-Tip 1018
Gardening Tips for successful and beautiful Landscapes and Gardens
the Dog Days of Summer are here in full force, our gardening gurus tell us
there are many things we can do to improve the yard and garden WITHOUT KILLING
YOURSELF. Check out these handy tips.
Do your gardening in the early morning, or in the evening after the sun has set. Itís amazing what a breeze can do! Set a large fan outside, but keep the power cord away from water. Why be stuck in the house all the time?
VEGETABLES - It's harvest time for melon crops. If the cantaloupe stem doesn't separate easily from the vine, the melon is not quite ripe--wait a little longer. When watermelons have those creamy off-white undersides and well defined, richly colored tops, it's time to pick 'em. Check the blossom ends of Crenshaw and Honeydew Melons. If soft to the touch, they are ready to pick.
When nighttime temperatures begin to cool in a few weeks, start planting cool season vegetables. Plant seeds a little deeper and cover with compost. Keep seeds and soil moist until plants are well established.
FLOWERS - Annual flowers will look better if you remove the dead flower heads with the hope that new blooms will soon follow. There is still time to plant celosia, cosmos, globe amaranth, gloriosa daisy, vinca, marigolds, petunias, portulaca and zinnias. To create full, bushy chrysanthemum plants, pinch off the growing tips regularly. Give them another feeding soon to prepare them for the fall flower show.
ROSES - The bushes and climbers look pretty ragged from all the heat, but don't give up on them. Withhold fertilizer right now, but keep soil evenly moist. In late August, groom the plants and give them a heavy feeding to produce spectacular roses until the winter frosts come.
TRANSPLANTING TREES - If you plan to transplant a tree this fall, begin root pruning now. Cut on 2 sides of the tree, not too close to the trunk, to sever the lateral roots. In a few weeks, cut the other 2 sides. This will stimulate new root growth near the trunk and improve your chances of success. If the tree trunk exceeds 3 inches in diameter, you may need to get some professional help to move the tree.
Reduce watering frequency to fruit trees after harvest. They don't need nearly as much water after the fruit has been picked. Feed with a low nitrogen, high phosphorus fertilizer in late August to help them manufacture next years' buds during the coming dormant season.
Above all, STAY COOL!