Getting Into The Summer Garden
The vegetable garden season has started, but there is still time to plant warm season crops of tomatoes, beans, potatoes, and squash that will yield plenty of produce for your family. Cool season crops like cabbage, radishes, and spinach start in August and finish in September through October as the weather cools down.
The Home Vegetable Gardening in Kentucky Extension publication is a good resource for any gardener. It covers different ways to plan and plant your garden, planting dates for different vegetables, information about different garden pests, and more. Copies of Home Vegetable Gardening in Kentucky are available at the Oldham County Extension Service office as well as on our website.
Plantings in containers need to be checked every day for watering. Use a liquid fertilizer frequently when watering, at least every third watering. A slow release fertilizer is also a good choice to keep a container garden fertilized and will require only a couple applications during the growing season.
When spreading mulch in your landscape, apply mulch no deeper than three inches. Mulch up to the base of a plant, avoiding buildup on the stem. Mulch touching plant stems in your garden can create an environment for disease development. Similarly, deep mulch around the base and on the bark of trees will encourage girdling roots, insect invasion, and disease development, leading to the early loss of trees.
Summer is a good time to move house plants outdoors but be sure to keep them in full shade as full sun exposure will burn the leaves. During the summer, while house plants are actively growing, is the best time for selective pruning to keep your plants looking their best.
Summer weed control in gardens is best done by hand, pulling and digging the weeds out. Chemical pre-emergent weed controls for flower and vegetable gardens are most effective when applied early in the season (i.e. March and April). Mulches effectively control weeds and do best if occasionally stirred up with a rake during the summer; this will help keep weed seed from germinating.
Written by Michael Boice, Oldham County Horticulture Assistant, and edited by Lauren Fernandez, Oldham County Extension Program Assistant.