What’s the best mulch for your vegetable seedlings? A layer of heat-treated straw, shredded leaves, newspapers or grass clippings placed around your vegetable seedlings will conserve soil moisture without introducing weed seeds. Untreated straw contains weed seeds that will happily germinate in your garden.
Wednesday, June 21, 2023
Set summer house plants out this month. Most require some shade, on a porch or under a tree, at least until they have adapted to their new environment. Remember to keep saucers under plants placed on the ground to reduce pests entering the containers and entering your home in the fall.
Wednesday, June 14, 2023
Be aware of the growing colonies of invasive weeds such as black swallowwort. It looks like a vine as it grows, then a pretty purple flower appears and finally a pod full of seeds. While the seeds look somewhat like milkweed pods, they will kill monarch larva that hatch from eggs laid on these plants. Cut down the vines before the flowers ripen into seeds. Weed whackers, or clippers for small stands, mower for larger ones. But beware-- they will re-sprout. Just keep cutting them until they don’t return. Or in your garden, dig out the root mass, bag it and leave it in the sun to kill. Do not compost or throw any swallowwort into other areas.
Wednesday, June 7, 2023
If you are growing vining plants - cucumbers, tall (indeterminate) tomatoes, pole beans or flowering vines, construct and install sturdy supports now. While seeing a small tomato plant inside a large cage may seem strange, training the vines to the cage while they are young is relatively easy. The plants will resent you trying to weave them through the supports as they get older and less flexible. Velcro strips are an easy way to attach the plant quickly without damaging the stems. And if you buy supermarket lettuce, they come with Velcro-like strips that can be trimmed to an appropriate length do the job for free.