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Green Thumb Tips

Echter’s Plant Doctors are available during store hours seven days a week to answer
your gardening questions. For accurate diagnosis, it helps to bring in a sample.
 
Flowers Gardens
"Dead-head" (pinch off the spent blooms) on perennials, annuals and roses for longer flowering periods
and more and larger blooms.

Continue fertilizing annuals, perennial and roses as instructed on your favorite fertilizer. This will give you continued flowering all season long.
 
Cut flowers for bouquets early in the morning and place the stems immediately into a bucket of water to keep them fresh until you are able to arrange them.
 


Perennials & Roses
Continue to fertilize roses throughout the summer to produce nice big and beautiful flowers. Roses are heavy feeders. Follow the instructions on the fertilizer of your choice and water at the base of the plant.  August is the last time that roses should be fertilized, however. Roses should then start to “harden off” for winter.

Plant fall-blooming perennials like asters, mums, agastache and Autumn Joy sedum for color August through October.
   
 
Prevent rose and perennial diseases like powdery mildew from taking hold by using a systemic fungicide before the problem appears. Once those diseases appear it is very difficult to control. Bee balm, phlox, columbines and lilacs are some of the plants prone to powdery mildew.
 
Remove old, spent rose blooms after they fade, cutting the stem just above the uppermost 5-leaflet node on the stem.
 
 
Vegetable Gardens
Plant broccoli, carrots, turnips, lettuce and radishes now to enjoy a nice fall garden. Choose early varieties so that they will mature before freezing temperatures.
 
Pinch off the flower buds of onions to direct energy to the developing bulb.
 
Remove vegetable plants that have finished producing. If they are free of insects and disease, compost
the plants; otherwise dispose of them so they don't infect your other plants.
 
Fertilize your vegetable gardens to maximize your harvest. Fertilize strawberry beds with ammonium sulfate now for more berries next spring.
 
Vegetables will stay fresher if you harvest them from the garden early in the day. Clean them as quickly
as possible and refrigerate (except tomatoes which should not be refrigerated for best flavor).
 
Harvest corn when the husk is tight over the ear and the silks are dried to a dark brown.


Lawn Care
Those impossible weeds like bindweed, dandelions and thistle in your lawn can be controlled with
Ferti-lome's Weed Free Zone.
Do you have dry spots in your lawn where water won’t penetrate? A lawn irrigator will put the water right
at the roots and aerate those areas so that water will percolate down. Revive helps water to soak into the ground before it runs off of slopes. It also helps water to penetrate deeper into the soil.
 

Trees & Shrubs
Deep watering of trees, shrubs, roses, vines and perennials is essential this time of year. Water thoroughly, but only when the plants require water. Check soil 3-4 inches deep to determine when these plants need to be watered.

Protect your trees and shrubs from grass trimmers. The best way to protect these plants is eliminate the grass directly around the tree, encircle it with weed fabric, and mulch with bark or rock.

Examine all trees, shrubs, roses, perennials and annuals for insects and diseases. This is the time of year these problems begin. There are controls for any of these situations.
Houseplants
If you set your houseplants outside on your patio, be sure to examine them periodically for insects and
treat them accordingly.
 
If your plants have been in the same pot for two or more years, this is a good time to repot them into
an attractive container which is at least two inches larger than the present pot.

Continue fertilizing your houseplants according to the directions on the fertilizer container.

Misc.
Keep your compost moist and aerate the pile by turning it.
 
If your yellowjacket trap is not working anymore, it may be time to replace the attractant.
  
   

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