2017-06-14 / Columns

Keeping Things Healthy

Garden Scene with Peggy Bolton

Heavy rains and excessive heat are the most challenging part of successful gardening. Last week, the lack of sunshine and daily rains caused many gardens to become mud holes. Now, in some cases we are actually faced with the need to water.

Weeding around the crown of a plant will prevent its need to compete for moisture. Be careful not to pull on the plant itself - this is especially true with young onions. It is best to weed either early or late in the day, which will cause less stress on the plants. Watering is also most effective either early in the day, or after the sun has moved from the area. If watering, do it really well, or don’t water at all. Just wetting the surface around a plant can attract disease. The water must reach the roots to be effective.

For gardeners who use continuous feed fertilizers, follow the manufacturer’s directions. Too much fertilizer may cause a great deal of leaf growth and no fruiting. It can also cause yellowed leaves.

When watering newly planted trees, make sure that water soaks in the ground and does not stand around the trunk. If necessary, slope the soil away from the tree, so that the moisture can soak in.

Trees or shrubs in the willow family will need extra watering. If leaves start to wilt, it is usually lack of moisture. If the leaves have already turned brown, don’t worry, it will produce new leaves. Clip off the dead foliage after the new leaf buds have formed.

Send specific questions to: Country Grown Perennials LLC, Peggy Bolton, 4801 Pines Brook Road, Walton, NY 13856. Enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope if you wish to receive a personal reply. Visit us on the web at

Nursery open Friday, Saturday, Sunday, 8-5. Closing July 2 at 5 p.m. for the season.

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