Week 14 – Garden fireworks will sizzle if you don’t let them fizzle


You can’t have that zing if you don’t have that thing – shu bop shu bop

It’s getting hot outside and it’s time to re-enforce good gardening practices.

Before we get to that;  around the garden today (it was magically beautiful for some reason today):

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This week the apprentices fertilized, hydrated the pots and deadheaded salvia and giant sea kale.  We also set up a very nice Fourth of July table and Lisa made a beautiful bouquet out of the flowers in the garden for the table.  Of course the theme is Red, White and Blue!

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Right now is the best time to remember to fertilize your pots and make sure your plants are getting enough water.  They’ll want to fizzle in this 90 degree heat so make sure you check every day so they have enough water.  Stick you finger down about two-thirds the way to the bottom of the roots (your index finger to maybe just past the knuckle depending on the size of the pot).  If it’s damp you’re ok.  If it’s dry then water.  Most likely in this weather of 90 degrees for 3 days you’ll have to water every day.  Water until the water starts draining from the bottom of the pot.  I make it a practice to water them every day until they start “peeing”.  Hanging baskets I do the same.  Water until they pee.  This time of year, a good draining pot with the right soil for the plant shouldn’t stay too wet.  With the heat we’re heading into I don’t think a plant being too wet will be a problem. If it’s a huge pot you may not have to water every day so do the finger test.  If it’s a small pot it maybe hard to keep up with watering it enough.

Water when it’s cool.  Probably the best time to water is 2:00 in the morning.  If you don’t have a drip system or a sprinkler system that’s not possible.  The important thing is that you do water.  Lawns and perennial like a nice deep soaking in this heat.  Water in the evening after 8:00 pm if possible or water early in the morning @ 6:00 am.  Give the plants a nice deep soak so the water will get down around the roots.  If you shallow water the roots will have to come up closer to the surface to get fed and the heat will get them.  Sprinkling is not watering.  SOAK IT!!  This will give the plants a chance to soak up the water when it’s cool and be prepared for the hot day ahead.  To water or not to water?  You can do the finger test in the garden just like you do in the pots.  Get down about 2/3 down to the roots and see if it’s damp.  If you don’t like sticking your fingers in the soil you can pick up an inexpensive water meter at your local garden center.  It’s on a long probe you can push into the ground or pot to test the moisture level.

Allison, Steffen and Matt talked about fertilizing and watering in the heat this week.  Here’s Steffen giving the column pots a shot of Bloom and Grow cocktail.


Remember – one day of a plant being dry in 90 degree heat can kill it.  It’s not bugs, and it didn’t come from the garden center that way.  You killed it.  It’s ok.  We’ve all done it so please don’t take plants back to where you bought them and say it’s a bad plant.  Sometimes a plant will make it through the day and fizzle out in the next day or two (after you’ve soaked them).  Plants can be damaged past a point where they are no longer able to suck up water.  It might be a couple of days after you’ve watered them again but it was really from the day you let them go dry.  Fertilize once every 7 to 10 days, and keep your plants hydrated and you will be successful.  I like the Old Age Bloom and Grow.  This week we set up a fertilization station with plenty on hand.  If it’s blooming give it Bloom with lots of phosphorus.  If it’s green give it Grow with nitrogen.  If you have a pot that’s looking particularly fizzled, mix a cocktail of bloom and grow (about half of each) to perk up the growth and the blooms.  Just follow the instructions on the bottle for how much to apply.

Fertilization Station - fertilize every 7 to 10 days.  Where the heck did he find this big container of Bloom and Grow?

Fertilization Station – fertilize every 7 to 10 days. Where the heck did he find this big container of Bloom and Grow?

We continued to deadhead and cut back the salvia.  The Giant Sea Kale was out of control so chop chop go the seed heads.  Lisa talks about the Giant Sea Kale in this week’s segment.

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Now, go out there and get gardening!!

For this week’s segment (it’s a good one, but they’re all good aren’t they!!) go to:  http://www.9news.com/story/life/home-garden/proctors-tips/2014/07/03/floral-fireworks/12128371/




About pbodwell

Master Gardener; Nat'l Award Winning Photographer; Garden Writer; Artist - art books, print maker, hot glass, wire jewelry designer; sometime quilter; new homesteader; bee keeper; very crafty; Baseball fan, enthusiast, and researcher; all things vintage
This entry was posted in Container Gardens, fertilizing container gardens, Gardening, Patio Plants, Perennial Beds, Perennial Beds, Proctor's Apprentices, Rob Proctor, Summer gardening, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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