How does your garden grow? It should be growing like crazy right now. The cooler evenings are helpful for fruit set and the hot sunny days are perfect for getting it to ripen. I hope you are enjoying all your hard work!
This month on the D&B garden show we are going to be talking about some really fun things. On the 13th, I’ll be talking to Melinda Jean Stafford about harvesting honey. If you keep bee hives and haven’t harvested any honey yet, listen to the show and learn first-hand about how to get it done. If you’ve already harvested honey once, it might be time to harvest a final time. Learn how much your bees might need to survive the winter. Melinda will also talk about starting to prepare your hives for winter, already! (Sorry).
On the 20th I’ll be talking to the new University of Idaho Extension Educator in Canyon County, Rich Guggenheim about the Master Gardener program and we’ll visit with a couple of Master Gardeners about their experience with the program. If this is something you’ve always wanted to do, now is your chance to learn how you, too, can become a Master Gardener.
In the meantime, here are a few tips that might make your August gardening a little easier.
- Blossom-end rot of tomato and peppers occurs when soil moisture is uneven. Water when the soil begins to dry: maintain a two to three inch layer of mulch to help regulate soil moisture and temperature.
- Start saving seed and taking cuttings for the plants you want in your garden next year.
- Sweet corn is ripe when the silks turn brown. Don’t wait too long!
- Begin dividing perennials. Start with your Iris plants. This will give them time to establish before the cold weather strikes.
- Take pictures of your garden at its peak. Don’t forget pictures of container combinations you’d like to repeat.
- Pick summer squash and zucchini every day or two to keep the plants producing.
- Plants might wilt on hot afternoons even though soil has adequate moisture. It’s because plants are losing water faster than their roots can absorb it. Leaves should perk up by early evening after the sun is no longer directly on the leaves. If not, water deeply.
- To reduce the number of pests on your fruit tree next year, pick up and destroy all fallen fruit.
- Plan to enter something in a local fair!
- Get your order ready for spring bulbs. If it’s a specialty bulb you want, order now to avoid the disappointment of them being sold out.
- Prune raspberry bushes when the harvest is over. Prune out the old canes to make way for the new ones.
- Don’t expect as prolific a harvest from your second plantings as your spring crop. The days are shorter and the nights are cooler. However, you can get a decent harvest before a killing fall frost.
- Prop up branches of fruit trees that are threatening to break under the weight of a heavy crop.
- Don’t use a nitrogen fertilizer on your roses after the middle of the month.
- Monitor plants for spider mite activity. They like it hot and dry so wash them off every few days with a strong spray of water.
Garden Questions? Call the D&B Garden Show Saturday mornings from 10-11 o’clock on KIDO 580am. 580-5436. I’d love to visit with you about your garden.