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Summer Is Fading Fast August 20th, 2018

SUMMER IS FADING FAST

According to Mother Nature we still have 30 plus days of summer. However, our flowers and gardens, even some shrubs and trees are showing signs that fall is fast approaching.  What should we be doing to get ready for fall?

There is still time to plant some vegetables and get enough harvest to be worthwhile.  Green beans are a very short season crop.  Plant in the next few days and they should produce a nice crop of beans.  Squash should have time to grow and produce a harvest.

Now is the time to start putting cold crops in the ground. Radish will be ready to harvest in about 3 weeks from time of planting.  You could get 2 to 3 crops this fall.  Lettuce, and other greens can be planted anytime starting now. Spinach and other greens planted now can be harvested this fall and should over winter for another harvest in the spring.  Cabbage, broccoli can also go in the next few days. These are just a few of the things that can be planted in the vegetable garden.

Flowers are a little different story.  A lot of summer flowers are beginning to show the signs of wear and tear from the summer.  If they are still looking great I would leave them alone for a few more weeks.  If they are pretty well shot from heat, rain, bugs and disease I would pull them out.  I would not plant anymore summer annuals unless I had a spot that I really needed color.  Then I would look for a garden center ready to make a deal on some late season plants.

Mums and pansies are beginning to arrive in the stores.  Personally, I think it’s a little too soon start buying mums and pansies.  I would wait until after Labor Day.  The early mums are usually small and don’t look all that great. Pansies don’t like the heat and will grow tall and weak in the heat. They could be cut back and then regrown into nice plants.  That just seems like extra labor that could be saved by waiting 2 weeks to plant.

Mums will give you 3 to 5 weeks of color and then be through blooming for the season.  They will come back next year.  Pansies will last all the way through the winter and well into next spring.  In extreme cold weather they may quit blooming and seem to shrink.  Give them a few warm sunny days and they will be right back in bloom.

Now comes the most important part of this blog. If you plan on seeding new lawn or over-seeding your existing lawn get to it.  You should have already killed the existing weeds in the lawn.  If you haven’t then, do it as soon as possible.  Remember, if you apply a weed killer to the lawn you need to wait 30 days before planting new seed. Roundup or similar products are not weed killers.  They kill everything that’s green and in an active state of growth.  They do not affect seed.  You can plant 48 hours after applying them.  They do not hurt shrubs and trees as long as you don’t apply them to the leafy part of the plant.

Fall seeding can be started as early as mid-August.  The earlier you seed the more likely you are to be successful. So, get to it.

 

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