This and That for July 2023

By David Wall, Mount Pleasant Master Gardener

Pepper production should be coming into full production now.  How about your hot peppers?  Are they not as hot as they should be, or are they much hotter than usual.  It’s really a simple matter to adjust the heat level.  If hot peppers are too hot for your taste, simply increase the amount of water they’re receiving and fertilize.  Are the not hot enough?  Just cut back on watering and don’t fertilize.

Water availability will continue to be a problem now and in the future. You can help by storing rain water, saving bath water wasted by running until the water gets warm, drip garden irrigation, saving water from boiling vegetables (contains nutrients plants will love), enlarging ponds when they are very low, and so many more ways. In the NETSEO area, there are probably several hundred thousand gardens.  Just a 5% water reduction would be quite a savings, not to mention lower water bills!

Bare garden soil is rapidly becoming a giant no-no.  Keep it covered. I prefer miniature and Dutch white clover which enrich the soil.  Even weeds are better than bare soil. When summer temperatures get to or exceed 90°, soil temps can reach 150°.  What you think are problems caused by air temp are caused more by soil temps which can affect activity and interfere with plant photosynthesis.

If we get another dry summer this year, don’t forget to give your trees with a 2” watering every two weeks.

Cardboard covering works well with raised bed gardens.  Simply cover the bed with cardboard.  Then cut 4-6” holes where you’ll plant your vegetables. You can use bricks, rocks, etc., to prevent the cardboard
from blowing away.

We hear a lot about plants for pollinators, but usually think nothing about plants for moths, who do their pollinating at night.   Believe it or not, moths pollinate much more efficiently than bees.  Also very important, turn off night lights which distract and prevent pollination.

If you’re really serious about improving your garden soil, consider Restoring the Soil or Dirt to Soil, two books that really make a difference.

If crows attack your garden, get a stuffed crow and put in the garden. Crows will associate the area with danger and stay away.

Author: Ethan Klein

Share This Post On