Gardening with Evelyn: Seasonal tips and some fun too!
Time to kick back and enjoy your garden. It’s the safest and nicest place to be right now. Enjoy evenings in the garden with cool drinks, a light alfresco supper. Oh no! The whine of mosquitoes. this time of year’s worst pest. The cure: Even small amounts of standing water can make a breeding ground for mosquito larvae. Empty what you can and add a few drops of vegetable oil to standing water. It coats the surface, prevents the larvae from breathing and hatching into mosquitoes.
Murphy’s law: If you leave the house or go on a vacation the water heater will start to leak or the sprinkler system will stop working.
Hint: Leave detailed instructions right next to the sprinkler controls. Who to call? Where the master turn off is. Now is a good time to check out how effective your sprinkler system is. Is the water hitting where it needs to go? Put out some pie tins to see where the water is actually going. Next, after you do that watering, wait a few hours and dig down 6 inches or so. You will see how far down the water penetrated.
Check for pests. Citrus harbors every pest there is. Give your citrus a forceful water blasting. Then check for ants and insects. Remember, ants are the enemy soldiers of the insect world. Cut off all their access routes. Keep all branches off the ground. Circle the trunk with a band of plastic wrap. Coat it with Tanglefoot. This is a super sticky product that will trap your ants when they try to cross it.
This is also a good time to get your garden ready for fall and winter vegetables. Succulents are great and really easy but they can also get a succulent mealybug or other insects. Alcohol is a good mealybug killer but you have to keep at it. Under each white little sticky mass are 872 baby crawlers.
Hot weather hints. Take your baskets down and put in the coolest shadiest place. Group everything close together. Heat hits both the foliage and the roots so double potting helps. Make sure they still drain. Water early in the morning and give them an afternoon cooling mist off. Don’t worry, they will perk up when evening cooling comes.
Oops! You forgot to water and now your basket or pot is really wilted and dry. Do the one-hour soak. Place your plant in about 3 inches of water. Let it soak slowly, be sure to push the soil down around the edges. Add more soil if needed. After an hour your soil will be well hydrated and ready for your regular watering schedule.
Take time to relax: It’s your garden. Don’t forget to sit down with that cool drink and enjoy it.
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