Dear Gardening Friends,
Excellent Web Site:
The National Wildlife Federation has an excellent website for information on sustainability and gardening for wildlife (nwf.org/garden).
The most exciting feature of the website is the upcoming addition of a link to native plants and their food value to nature. This part of the website will enable you to put in your zip code and receive a listing of the best native plants that will support insect populations. The information is based on the research done by Dr. Doug Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home.
Garden Consultation: Late summer is when gardeners take stock of what worked and what didn’t. We can cover whatever questions you have and how to make improvements for next year. Just give a call or e-mail to set up an appointment.
- Watering continues to be the big issue so far this summer.
- Just remember to water deeply and well. The drier it is the more important it is to water deeply or else it just evaporates before doing any good.
- Plant die back: Many early blooming plants, ferns, may apples, trillium etc. have already browned out and may look dead. Don’t worry they will come back next year. This is just nature’s way of surviving a drought. Just like the grass turns brown but will come back.
- Powdery mildew has all of a sudden attacked many susceptible plants at least in my garden. I made the mistake of not spraying a fungicide as there have been no symptoms. In the past week it has infected quite a few plants. Look for whitish patches showing up on leaves. Remove those leaves and treat with an environmentally friendly fungicide for powdery mildew.
- The fungicide will not restore affected leaves but will help prevent the spread.
- This will not kill the plant but it does look unsightly.
- Make sure to clean up and discard all affected foliage at the end of the season.
- Transplanting and dividing: Ordinarily August is a good time to start transplanting and dividing. Because of the heat and dry weather I would suggest holding off until the weather breaks. It’s much harder for a plant to be uprooted and try and reestablish itself in this severe dry heat. Late August and September are still a good time for this task.
- If you want to take advantage of the many sales on perennials and shrubs that are going on this time of year go ahead. If the plants are to be put in a sunny area I would store them in their pots and wait to plant them. It won’t hurt the plants and you will have a better chance of success.
- Lawn care:
- Fall (once it cools down) is a good time to reseed or over-seed your lawn.
- It’s also a good time to apply fertilizer if your lawn needs it. Applying fertilizer when the lawn is brown and dormant is not advised.
- Natural fertilizers are much better than chemical fertilizers. However, if you mow high, leave the grass clippings on the lawn and lightly spread some compost over the grass. That’s all you need to do.