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Garden Survival Tips for July and August

Greetings, Sauna Lovers!

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been feeling extra-crispy in this extreme heat! Just imagine how your plants feel, baking out there in the blistering sun, for days! At least we can cool off in the air conditioning, but plants don’t have that option. They rely on us to help them through these dry summer scorchers. Here’s what you can do to help your plants beat the heat.

Keep Them HydratedIf a plant’s leaves are curled, crisp, or wilted, it is dehydrated, and needs water. Some plants, such as hydrangeas, have a coping strategy, and react to the heat of the day by curling their leaves to conserve moisture. When the heat of the day has passed, the leaves return to normal. If the leaves don’t return to normal by evening, the plant is dying for a drink.

Make sure the water gets into the soil and not just on the leaves. Keeping the water in the soil allows the plant’s roots to absorb it, and may avoid powdery mildew and fungus problems that often develop on damp foliage.

Plants need a nice long drink, not just a quick spritz. Give them a big gulp!

Container CareFor flowers in containers, watering is required every morning, especially on days when the thermometer soars into the nineties! When temperatures reach the high nineties and above, early evening watering may be needed as well.

To determine the water needs of a large container planting, poke your finger a few inches into the soil to check the moisture. Sometimes the top of the soil is bone dry, but the deeper soil is still moist.

Smaller containers dry out faster than larger ones, so pay particular attention to those. Newly planted flowers should get extra scrutiny, too.

Garden BedsEven established plants in the garden need water, so check to see if they’re thirsty. Ground covers are especially sensitive to heat and drought.

Plants near foundations, paved driveways, and walks are exposed to even hotter temperatures because of the reflected heat from the hardscape.

Eliminate competition for water by pullng out weeds that are stealing precious moisture meant for your flowers.

Ah, NatureWhen Mother Nature is involved, there are bound to be problems, and sometimes there are losses. She makes no guarantees for success, especially during extreme conditions, but keeping your plants healthy gives them the best chance for surviving these trying times of stress.

I can help, too! Please call me at 908 872-8387 or drop an e-mail to laura@finaltouchplantscaping.com if you have any problems or questions about your plantings. And while you’re at it, a little rain dance wouldn’t hurt, either!

Happy Summer and Stay Cool! This Rain Just In!As we go to press, heavy rains have been popping up around the area. (Guess those rain dances really work!) Take advantage of this much-needed event, and sprinkle some long-acting fertilizer granules (Osmocote is great!) around your flowers, vegetables, and ornamentals while the ground is still wet. Here’s a link to a video that explains how it works.http://www.scotts.com/smg/learn/video/videoPage.jsp?detailId=16400012&subNavId=16900008&navId=16900002&parentId=100006

Swelteringly yours, Laura DePrado

Final Touch Plantscaping, LLCCertified Member of the New Jersey Small Business Development CouncilWBE Women Business EnterpriseSBE Small Business Enterprise

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