Picture Snob

August 10, 2010

Hot weather gardening tips

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We found this rather interesting set of tips from Scott Richter on hot weather gardening. We have to agree with all of them, but we really always hate the extra mulching when it's hot.

Garden Maintenance Tips

1) Keep plants mulched. You probably already know of the many benefits of mulch. Keep the mulch replenished in the heat. Look for free sources of organic mulches in your area such as neighborhood leaves or grass clippings. Apply a thin layer of fresh clippings and let dry for a few days before adding more.

2) Keep Weeding. Here's a fast, easy way to recapture weed infested areas of your garden. Wet the soil thoroughly. Tall weeds may need to be mowed before wetting. Place a 4 sheet thick layer of newspaper over the weeds covering the entire row up around your garden plants. Wet the newspaper to hold it in place and cover with leaves or hay.

I have even come back a few weeks later and planted transplants or larger seeds like okra through holes in the newspaper. Sprinkle a handful of soil or compost over the seeds and then water. You'll be amazed how well they grow.

3) Keep Yourself Watered. Drink plenty of water when working outdoors. The hot humid weather can be dangerous if you work outdoors during midday. Use sunscreen with at least a SPF 15 rating and avoid extended time out in the sun during the heat of the day.

4) Add Manure. Vegetable gardens not in production can benefit from an addition of manure and other organic matter this month. This material will decompose rapidly and be ready for fall planting in late summer. Southern peas such as blackeye, purplehull, cream and crowders make a great, edible summer cover crop for building the soil and providing food. The pea vines can be mowed and rototilled under while still green for extra soil building benefits or allowed to produce peas and then tilled under.

Let the hot sun work for you by tilling unused areas of the garden and expose the soil to the heat. This will kill nematodes and young weeds. After a couple of weeks repeat tilling to bring more weed seeds and nematodes to the surface.

5) Water Deeply. Irrigate the soil deeply and infrequently rather than giving plants a light sprinkling each day. Apply enough water to wet a sandy soil 1 foot deep and a clay soil 6 to 8 inches deep. This requires about 1 inch of rain or sprinkler irrigation.

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Posted by Marilyn Renaker at August 10, 2010 8:30 AM
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