As I write this I am sitting on an incredibly comfortable 75 degree back porch in Oklahoma City. Sally and I came north to spend a little time with our grandson (and his parents). Since this weekend is the official kick off of the Fall garden season I will be driving back on Saturday so I can begin planting my garden in the 100+ temperatures that we are expecting this weekend.
Roger and I having a little fun while mom and Nana do a little shopping
Prepare beds for transplants – By September 1 you can plant most transplants. Get your beds ready now by removing all weeds, rebuilding the row or beds and then applying a deep layer of compost. Once this is done mulch heavily and begin watering on a regular basis
Plant tomato transplants ASAP – I know I said wait until September 1 to plant transplants, but tomatoes are an exception. Plant them as soon as they show up in stores. Most tomatoes take so long to mature that you need to get them in the ground now if you want red fall tomatoes. Baby them! Give them a little shade cloth, lots of water and mulch heavily with finished compost. Then feed them with liquid fertilizer. Fall tomatoes need to establish quickly and start putting on flowers early in the fall season.
Now is the time to spend money on compost. Everything in your Fall garden will benefit from the addition of compost
Prepare beds for fall – Flower beds need the same work as the vegetable garden. Remove weeds now. Fertilize heavily with finished compost and mulch. Begin watering regularly to encourage fall blooming bulbs to sprout
Plant from seed – This weekend is a great time to plant more zinnias, cockscomb, marigolds and sunflowers from seed
Plant from transplant – While it is too hot to plant transplants in the vegetable garden, garden beds that get some shade can receive several great transplants. Some of my favorites are pentas and angelonia
Refresh potted plants. If summer has zapped the plants in your pots I recommend redoing them. Throw away spent plants and soil. Replace with a high quality planting mix that has perlite or other water holding components. When watering in plants use a water soluble fertilizer mixed to 50% of package recommendations. Some of my favorite fall potted plants are coleus and portulaca
Coleus and portulaca are some of my favorite potted plants
Trees and Lawns
Prepare trees and shrubs for transplant – if you have a tree or shrub that needs to be moved, now is the time to start getting ready. The larger the tree or shrub is the more preparation it needs. Start giving it a slow, soaking watering every third day. This will assure the plant is full hydrated before its move
Continue to water trees and shrubs deeply – If your trees or shrubs are shedding leaves now there is a good chance they are suffering root stress. It has been very hot lately. This is very hard on young trees and woody perennials. Mulch heavily, water deeply and regularly and feed with a slow release fertilizer.
I share these posts on Our SimpleHomestead Blog Hop. Be sure to stop by. The “hop” has tons of great information from gardeners and homesteaders all over the world!
As I write this post, sun is pouring in through my window! Now that sun is back it is time for some serious gardening. June is always the busiest and most difficult month of the year for me. Everything thing needs constant attention. Each June vegetables need to be harvested almost daily and full grown weeds seem to pop up overnight. While those jobs are normal this time of year all of our recent rains are going to cause some pretty serious, and unusual pest problems. Patty Leander sent me several tips on how to organically control some of the more common pests in our June gardens. This is such a big topic this time of year I am going to add a series of pest control tips each week in June.
Control mosquitos-All of this rain is going to mean swarms of mosquitoes. Drain all standing water. Mosquitos can mature in as little as a half inch of water. If not possible to drain the water treat it with a product that contains the israelensis strain of Bt (also known as Bti) to kill mosquito larvae.
Control slugs, snails, pillbugs and earwigs with a product containing iron phosphate and spinosad- The efficacy of many pesticides can be wiped out by heavy rain so always check the forecast before application and reapply when needed.
Small tomatoes are already for harvest. All of our rain is going to cause cracking in many of our larger varieties. Don’t worry though. Just cut out the bad spots and enjoy what’s left!
Expect to see cracking in tomatoes, especially if rainy weather continues-This is caused by fluctuations in moisture and temperature during periods of rapid fruit growth. Salvage fruit by cutting around the affected areas.
Watch tomatoes for signs of early blight-Early Blight is a fungal disease that spreads by air, insects, wind and splashing water. Extension sponsored research from Ohio State University has shown that garlic oil, neem oil and seaweed extract can help reduce the severity of early blight on tomatoes; other organic options for control include potassium bicarbonate and the fungicide Serenade.
Start seeds for fall tomatoes in late June so you will have transplants ready to set out in early August.
Spider mites love marigolds. Control them with strong blasts of water to the undersides of leaves every few days. I use the Mitey Fine Mister
Pull or hoe weeds before they set seed. If you get them before seed set they can go right into the compost
Aphids and spider mites are becoming a problem on annual flowers and crepe myrtles. Control with strong blasts of water to the underside of leaves or spray with horticultural oils
Deadhead annual flowers like marigolds to encourage blooming
Mulch, mulch, mulch! Mulch controls soil temperatures, suppresses weeds and conserves moisture. Mulch often and deeply
Don’t forget to feed your potted plants regularly-I use compost tea. If you use chemical fertilizers like Miracle Grow apply weekly at half the recommended rate.
Don’t forget to fertilize your potted plants. I use compost tea. If using chemical products like Miracle Grow apply weekly at half the recommend rate
To avoid fungal disease, do not apply nitrogen to St. Augustine until the soil dries out
When soil dries apply 3 to 4 lbs of nitrogen to 1000 square feet of St. Augustine
Apply 4 to 5 lbs of nitrogen per 1000 square feet of Bermuda
Apply 2 to 3 lbs of nitrogen per 1000 sqaure feet of Zoysia