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Are you beginning to think we may have a HOT Summer? If the last couple of weeks are a forerunner of the summer it will be a HOT one. The last couple of summers have been relatively cool so I guess we are due for a HOT one. At least, to this point, we have had a fair amount of rain. Most of that has been spotty storms with heavy rain in one place and little or none in others. The storm a few days ago dropped between 3 and 4 inches at the store and none at my house.  Just remember in a heavy rain that most of the water runs off rather than soaking in, so you still may need to water by the next day.

You will see many plants flopping or wilting during these HOT days.  That does not mean that they need water.  Tomatoes are a prime example.  On a HOT day by mid-afternoon the tomato plants will be wilted.  Go back and check them out soon after dark, if they have perked back up they did not need water and in fact watering them may have harmed them.  Wilting on a HOT day is just the way the plant has of protecting itself against the HOT weather.  If it does not perk up at night then watering is in order.

While we are on the subject of water, remember always water underneath the leaves if possible.  All those spots on the leaves and the holes in the leaves are caused by water standing on the leaves.  We can't teach Mother Nature not to wet the leaves but we can do our part by trying not to wet the leaf when watering.

I receive questions daily asking, "when do I water?" or  "how much do I water?" etc.  The simple answer, you water when the soil is dry and you put on enough water to last if the plant is in the ground.  If it's a pot then you likely need to water daily unless the plant is in shade.  Then maybe every other day will do.

The best water meter in the world is your finger.  If the soil is dry - water, if it's damp or wet don't water.  Learning to water is a matter of trial and error and no one can tell you the right time, how often or how much.



Summer Maintenance Tips

Gary's Lawn and Garden Maintenance Tips for Summer

  1. Mowing frequency continues to be high.  Grass should still be cut no shorter than 2 ½ to 3 inches high.  Try not to cut off more than 1 inch at a time.  Grass clippings are great for the yard so leave them on the lawn if you only cut an inch off.  They will be gone in 48 hours through decay.
  2. New growth is beginning to flush out on shrubbery so pruning is likely needed.  Most shrubs can be pruned at this time.
  3. Monitor shrubs, flowers and vegetables for insects.  Remember just because you see holes and ragged leaves do not mean it is insect damage.  It well may be where water has stood on the leaves and caused them to rot.  If you don’t see bugs you likely don’t have bug problems.
  4. Beds should be weeded on a weekly basis.  If you wait the weeds will be so big they are hard to pull.  An old household spray bottle with a mild mixture of roundup is a great way to keep beds clean.
  5. Lawns are loaded with broadleaf weeds.  An application of broadleaf weed control every 6 to 8 weeks is the only way to have a weed free lawn.  An application of weed and feed only kills the weeds that are there when it is applied; it does not keep new weeds from coming into the lawn.
  6. If you are irrigating your lawn (with all the rain I don’t know why you would be) one application per week of an inch is much better than 20 minute bursts of water daily.
  7. If you are watering newly planted shrubs and trees a deep watering once a week is much better than a daily watering.
  8. Beds can be mulched now if needed.  Try to never have the mulch deeper than 2 to 3 inches with 2 being best.  Don’t pile the mulch against the base of plants.
  9. If your vegetable garden is planted in the ground you likely will do more harm than good at present by watering.  That may change if the summer gets hot and dry.  Try to keep the water off the leaves if you do water.


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Plant of the Week - Crepe Myrtle

  • Crape Myrtle

    Crape Myrtle


    • Colorful and long-lasting flowers
    • Colors vary from deep purple to red to white, with almost every shade in-between

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