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July started off with a little cool after a pretty warm June. There have been some temperature spikes but then it is cooling down in between. Get out early and beat the warm part of the day and do planting and landscaping early when it’s nice and cool.
Many of our customers find they have the most time in the summer to do their planting. And planting in the summer is fine. Plant early in the day or in the evening if possible so it is easier on you. Plants will handle the transplant just fine but do make sure you give additional water for the first week or so after planting to make sure it is kept well hydrated. Water the new planting well and then water in with Superthrive mixed in water. This will eliminate any transplant shock that may occur. Then keep the plant moist but not soggy while it is getting it’s root system established. If you are using a timed drip system that runs for very short periods, you will need to supplement with a hose periodically. A slow trickle for an hour or two works well about once or twice a week along with the drip system. Also mulch well around your trees and shrubs to keep the moisture in the ground.
The weather this spring and early summer has been quite a bit of up and down. So on the subject of watering whether newly planted or established plantings, when there is a spike in temperatures coming, be sure that the shrub or tree is well watered going into the temperature spike rather than waiting till afterwards. Sometimes the stress on the plant will be too much if too dry. Signs of not enough water will include crisp edges of leaves, wilting in the heat and perhaps shedding some foliage soon after extreme heat. If you see any of these symptoms, you probably should increase the amount of water or mulch or perhaps a combination of the two. If you see any stress on your plants, treat them with Superthrive mixed with water. This product eliminates transplant shock and also revives plants under stress. We do all of our transplanting here at the nursery during the summer months and we use Superthrive on all of our transplants and cuttings that we do.
Crape myrtles are now in full bloom here and in landscapes. Although crape myrtle is a very drought tolerant plant, it will bloom much nicer with at least one good deep soak a week. Also spray for aphids if you see sticky shiny leaves. Use neem oil or an insecticide or insecticidal soap. Any of these are better sprayed in the evening so that there is no damage to the leaves from the heat of the day.
Vegetable gardens will benefit from a fertilizing about now. If you fertilized when you planted, it’s about time to give the garden another fertilizing and then again sometime in August to keep your plants healthy and productive. Use a vegetable fertilizer for this. Avoid high nitrogen fertilizers as they will cause growth at the expense of production. Organic vegetable fertilizers work well because they feed slowly and there is less chance of burning the plants in warm weather. And mulch your garden too to hold the moisture in and use less water.
Watch for tomato worms. If you have them use BT or Monterey Garden Insect Spray to get rid of them. Both are organic controls.
The nursery garden railroad has unfortunately suffered some damage this past year. The engine was broken last fall and this spring the train cars were taken off the tracks and played with and had doors removed and broken along with damage to some of the buildings. I now have a new engine and have repaired the cars, but until we have a more secure fence around the railroad it will be very limited running. We’ll be working on that soon. This is not a toy but a rather expensive endeavor for me and hopefully we can get it back and running for all to enjoy but also safe from any further damage. I truly love having the train run and having people watch it.
Hopefully the weather moderates like it is for the next few days. Get out early and enjoy the cool and do some gardening.
Hope we see you soon.