Thursday, August 29, 2013

Arlene's Late Summer Gardening Tips

1. Thinking of over-wintering some of your plants? Start taking your plants in before the nights start dropping to below 10 degrees. Water them well and spray with an insecticidal soap or product to rid the plants of any insects and disease. Isolate the plants for a couple of weeks before introducing them to the house and near houseplants.
2. Collecting seeds or cuttings? Let the seeds mature, turn brown and dry on the plant. If you collect them too early, they will not germinate. Seeds such as tomatoes should be collected, fermented for about a week in a jar filled with a little bit of water and then dried and stored. Collect cuttings now while the plant is still strong and healthy and before the temperature at night starts falling.
3. High humidity causing mildew and fungus? Mix 1 – 2 T. of baking soda into 1 litre of water. Shake well and spray on plants that are susceptible or are suffering. Spray weekly. If your plant has become entirely covered with mildew, you may need something stronger. Drop into Jensens to pick up a cure. Sulphur Dust is a great product to use if a number of your plants have been suffering. Fungus is a cause of not enough air circulation and high humidity. You may want to give the infected plants a bit of fertilizer to help it through its stress.
4. Are you still fertilizing? Continue fertilizing all of your annuals, but, now is the time to stop fertilizing your trees, shrubs and perennials, unless they are suffering. Let them start preparing for winter rather than start producing more tender foliage that may be susceptible to damage from an early frost. Roses have to prepare for winter. Stop fertilizing and deadheading as you want them to start forming rose-hips. Fertilizer stakes for your trees, fruit trees and shrubs are great to put down just before the ground starts freezing so they will get a boost with the warmer temperatures of spring.
5. Harvesting herbs? Gather herbs early in the morning when the aromatic oils are the strongest. Hang them upside down in a clean brown paper bag to dry. The bags keep out the light and catch any seeds or leaves that may fall off the stems. Cut a few holes in each bag to increase air circulation. To keep spices and herbs longer, store them in the freezer rather than the cupboard.
6. Growing tomatoes? Now is the time to cut the tops off your tomato plants so the strength will go into the fruit. To peel fresh tomatoes, plunge them briefly into boiling water, then into cold water. The skins will crack and slip off. You can peel peaches and plums the same way.
7. Bumper crop of Tomatoes? Freeze whole tomatoes on baking sheets and then store them in plastic bags until ready to use. Use them in soups, stews, casseroles or chili.
OR
Think of our friends at Winnipeg Harvest and bring them some of your excess tomatoes and vegetables!!!

Arlene Ortiz (Wheeler)


Posted by Tammy Jensen at 3:42 PM 0 Comments