Pine Belt gardeners prepare for the summer months
MOSELLE, Miss. (WDAM) - Temperatures are on the rise in the Pine Belt as spring gives way to summer.
The extra sunshine is great for those plants you’ve put into the ground, but it also brings its own set of challenges for both plants and gardeners living in the area.
Bugs and fungi can quickly lay waste to those dreams of having the perfect summer garden, but there are some things you can do.
Ty Coleman works at Coleman Nursery located at 37 Shiloh Church Road in Moselle and said for the most part, just remembering the basics will get you through.
“Keep a check on the water,” Ty said, “If the leaves look like they’re starting to droop, make sure you water them well. Also, make sure there’s no environmental factors that are contributing to that and keep a check out for pests and fungi that can also hinder them. You can also help them out with a slow-release fertilizer once or twice a year.”
Local nurseries like Coleman’s are great places for suggestions and advice for both novice and experienced gardeners.
Here’s a few additional tips you can use to nurture your plants during the summer, whether its tending to your flower beds or taking care of a summer vegetable garden.
- Know what type of plants you have and what they need in order to thrive. Learn to recognize when your plants are becoming stressed. Some plants prefer less sun while others may require more.
- Water your flowers and garden early in the mornings to prevent loss to evaporation and heat scald. Leaves can become damaged when they are watered while the sun is directly overhead. If extreme hot conditions exist, additional watering may be added late in the evenings.
- Don’t let weeds take over, plants can’t grow well if they are being crowded out and weeds are especially tough competitors.
- Keep an eye out for pests. Warmer weather and leafy greens are a perfect combination for insects that are harmful to plants. Look for changes in leaf color or texture. Invasive insects can leave plants looking spotted, speckled, or yellow. Stems may appear distorted or misshapen. You may also spot webbing draped across the leaves.
- Identify what type of insects are attacking your plants and purchase the proper insecticide. Follow the instructions carefully.
- Alternatively, you can plant a variety of other plants that have natural insect-repelling properties like Marigolds, Lavender, Basil, Thyme, Mint, Lemongrass, and Parsley to name a few.
Don’t forget to take care of yourself as well.
The heat can not only dehydrate your plants it can dehydrate you as well. If possible, work during the cooler hours of the day, and be sure to drink plenty of water and take occasional breaks.
There’s a lot to remember but the basics are the best place to start.
Take time to enjoy yourself and the fruits, or rather the vegetables and flowers, of your labor.
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