Friday, June 26, 2009

Garden Talks June 26--Feed those Annuals & Vegetables; Fungus Among Us; Garden Pests!

Hello again,

Well we are headed into another weekend and hopefully lots of gardening for our friends here in Skillin's Country.

By now many containers have been planted as well as colorful annuals into the ground. Folks, we have a short season here in Maine! Good composted soil is tremendously important for your plants BUT if you want season long (summer and well into the fall) flowering it is imperative that you feed your flowers! (and vegetables). We have a number of good options here at Skillin's. My personal favorite is Plant Booster Plus by Organica (loves those natural microbes that make a great place for your plants roots to be!) or Flower or Plant Tone by Espoma. This fertilizer I put right in the soil or on the soil around the plants. To give my plants an extra good start I pick up a container of Fish and Seaweed Liquid Food by Neptune's Harvest and water weekly with that until it is gone. By then it is later in the season and the granular food I noted above is now breaking down nicely into the soil. All this yummy food makes for big plants and big flowers. And with our long winters this is what we need. Use this combination for vegetables as well! Other folks here totally recommend Bloom Plus by Schultz; use it every time you water!

It has been wet and blah here in Skillin's Country and in many of our plants there is a Fungus among Us. Trim yellow leaves, pull of moldy growth, "deadhead" spent flowers! We have been doing it constantly here at Skillin's and can show you how IF you have any questions! This trimming is good for the plant--it sends a signal to your roots to grow! And this trimming also takes diseased growth away from the rest of your healthy plant. If your plant is riddled with leaf spot or mildew, we have some great natural solutions for you like Seranade. For plants like tomatoes, cucumbers, phlox, roses and others that mildew easily come talk to us about Messenger. (click on Garden Talks May 15--Messenger, Azalea, Woodchucks in the Garden for a nice talk about what Messenger can do for your plants!)

Finally, we have been fielding many questions about garden pests. Caterpillars are out and they are hungry. Slugs and snails are running amok in this moisture and their appetite is tremendous.

Caterpillars and beetles? Use Spinosad; all natural; it really works and it is sold right here at Skillin's! (click for a description of a great Spinosad product).

For slugs, we definitely recommend the all natural Slug Magic; safe to use around your pets and every effective!

Mike Skillin
Skillin's Greenhouses
June 26, 2009

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