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Weather woes

The weather woes of farmers and gardeners alike seem to be persisting throughout our growing season. If you have been trying to raise anything from seed whether it is field corn or sweet corn, soybeans or green beans, you may be like many others, frustrated with the weather. While the last hope of being able to raise any field crops has passed us by, we are still able to replant some of our seeds. Although, I am going to say that you may still have some problems in getting the seeds not only to come up but to thrive.

The warmer weather we now have will help to promote the growth of green beans, lettuce and any other seeds that you have struggled with in the spring to come up. The key here is to make sure that a good thorough reading of the seed packet is important so that you start counting backward from the date of maturity of the vegetable and using our first date of frost which is very roughly speaking about Sept. 20. So if a packet says that the date of maturity of that vegetable is 80 days, counting backwards from Sept.20 will tell you if those seeds are planted on a certain day if they will mature in time before frost potential. In our crazy weather pattern it is really going to be hard to rely on previous weather patterns but this will help you have the best guess courtesy of NOAA. Using this date, it gives gardeners about 80 days (depending on when you read this) to get growing!

The second best thing to do for any of your plants growing in your garden, whether they are vegetable, annuals, perennials or something other, is to make sure to regularly feed them. Yes, this even counts if you are planting your flowers into soil that has been already amended with fertilizer. Eventually (and especially) when we have volumes of rain, the fertilizer will leach out of the container. This means that we need to pay attention not only to making sure that container flower gardens are well watered throughout the growing season, we also need to make sure that we are including a soluble fertilizer. Remember to read the label because the addition of too much fertilizer can cause problems too. In our current weather conditions, we need fertilizers that can easily dissolve in water and are easily accessed to the roots of the plants.

According to the U of M Extension, you may want to consider upping your fertilizing game by cutting the fertilizer rate listed on your soluble fertilizer by half and fertilizing every week instead of every two weeks. If plants seem slow or if they are smaller than usual, plants are probably short on nitrogen. This also shows up as lower leaves of plants turning yellow. Luckily, most time in a garden setting a couple of weeks of fertilizing will turn things around. Soluble fertilizers (fertilizers that you mix in water) are the best choice for gardens or containers that might be struggling. If things are moving along nicely, a slow release fertilizer also works very effectively in either containers or gardens where watering (or rain) will release fertilizer over a period of time.

It is important to follow the label and don’t panic when things are not going as planned. Over fertilizing can also cause problems and damage plants too. For more information on fertilizing at this time of the year, you can go to the following websites:

https://blog-yard-garden-news.extension.umn.edu/2019/06/become-smarter-gardener-in-2019_28.html

https://blog-yard-garden-news.extension.umn.edu/2019/06/become-smarter-gardener-in-2019_69.html

For more information on gardening or becoming a Master Gardener, you can reach me at s.dejaeghere@me.com

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