It would seem with the end of the growing season approaching, insects would be less of a problem, but that is not always the case. Like us, they’re preparing for winter. Wasps, including the yellow jackets that are often misidentified as bees, are particularly aggressive this time of the year. Remember, there are hives in the ground as well as in trees and shrubs.
Wednesday, September 8, 2021
Your basil (and most other herbs) are likely sending up flower stalks. Pinch off the stalk at their base. Once your basil flowers, and those flowers are pollinated, the plant thinks its work is done and puts all its energy into producing seed rather than the leaves you want for your kitchen.
Wednesday, September 1, 2021
Time to start cleaning your gardens. As annuals and most vegetables reach the end of their productive life, cut them down and add the healthy material to the compost bin. Any diseased (for example, downy mildew) or insect-infested material should be bagged and placed in the trash. All garden weeds should be pulled now and bagged (and definitely not composted), chopped or otherwise made incapable of growing. Left in place, the weeds will produce thousands of seeds in your lawn and garden, making your job much more difficult next year.
Wednesday, August 25, 2021
August is the month to order spring bulbs. You will have the best selection from any grower if you order now. Tulips, daffodils and other spring beauties don’t want to go into the ground until the soil temperature has dropped to 55 degrees and you are turning on your car heater in the morning. Look at photos you took this spring and judge where more bulbs are needed. When you plant, remember bulbs look best in groups, single bulbs spread out along a border or walkway have very little visual impact. If you sometimes have visits from deer and rabbits, daffodils and hyacinths are deer resistant, tulips are deer (and rabbit) candy.
Wednesday, August 18, 2021
Keep picking! If you let cucumbers or squash, beans or any other vegetable over-ripen - producing seeds - the plant will think its work is done and stop producing flowers and setting fruit. Replant peas, beets, green beans and lettuce and you’ll have a new crop in September. In late August, remove flowers from tomato plants. There’s not enough time for them to set fruit and ripen before frost. And. removing new flowers tells the plant to devote its energy to growing and ripening the fruit already in the vine.
Wednesday, August 11, 2021
Remove spent flowers from perennials and annuals. Your goal is more flowers, not seeds. Keep the flowers coming by encouraging the plant to use its energy to set more buds. Keep your garden looking at its best by cutting back any plant that has finished flowering, leaving enough foliage to add energy to the roots but allowing space for the late bloomers to shine.