For the last year, we have been sending a weekly garden update to our
"Trumpet Vine" subscribers. As MGs get the TV via the MG list server,
you have not had access to Irene's wonderful synopsis of what's going
on in the gardens. We have had great response from our subscribers,
and though we, as MGs receive this info from Barb in her DG reports, I
thought that this version may be helpful as well. So, here it is"
The Weekly Garden Update.
Weekly Garden Update
Editor's Note: If you feel like you've missed the Spring Planting
Season, do not fret! There are many, many things you can put into the
ground due to our long growing season. I have not even put my beans
in yet (as I am currently overwhelmed by peas peas and more peas!). I
will put my beans in next week for a nice mid summer crop. Read about
some of the new plantings at the Demonstration Garden at Ida Lee Park
in Leesburg - perhaps you will be inspired to throw some sweet
potatoes into the ground for a nice fall crop!
Here is this week's Garden Update:
The Master Gardeners' Garden to Table team will be doing a
presentation and demonstration at the Demonstration Garden at Ida Lee
Park on June 19 at noon. We will begin with a short children's
program, "What part of the plant do we eat" followed by sunflower seed
plantings to take home. We will then talk about "Harvesting your
Vegetables" and "Getting ready for a Fall garden" with a give-away of
seeds appropriate for the Fall garden. We hope to see you there.
This week in the Master Gardeners' Demonstration Garden at Ida Lee
Park in Leesburg, the Master Gardeners were busy in the vegetable
garden. They planted pole beans, cucumbers, sweet potatoes and summer
squash. They also made sure that the irrigation system was up and
running for the summer season. If you do not have an irrigation system
in your garden, you can set out a tuna fish can to collect rainfall to
make sure your garden gets at least 1 inch of rain each week.
Remember, when you do water to do it early in the morning so the water
can evaporate off of the plants and not bring on fungal diseases
(which happens if you water in the evenings) and, also, avoid getting
the leaves of your plants wet, just water the "root zone" (the ground
below the plant and plant leaves).
Also remember to keep your garden as weed free as possible as weeds
can steal the water and nutrients from your plants.
A great way to reduce weeds in your garden is to use mulch around the
plants. DO NOT use hard wood mulch in the garden (save this for your
ornamental plants and bushes). Use straw or dried lawn clippings (a
good way to do this - one week, gather clippings and use in your
garden; alternate week, mulch into your lawn to add nutrients to your
turf). This will cut down on weeds and will keep the ground
temperature more moderate while keeping moisture in the ground and
reducing watering needs. This will also help reduce disease in your
garden by preventing soil bourn diseases from splashing up on your
At the Demonstration garden, the Master Gardeners have begun training
the tomato plants. They use a trellis system and tie the stems to the
trellis to keep the vines from sprawling. They also pinch off the
suckers from the tomato plants. These are the branches that grow
between the stem and the leaves that grow at a 45 degree angle from
the stem. This allows more of the plants energy to go to producing
This week they also fed the fennel, celery, pepper plants and tomato
plants with fish emulsion. This is an organic fertilizer that is
higher in nitrogen and is available at most local nurseries.
Another organic treatment that they used this week was to spray the
pear tree in the garden with "Surround". This is a kaolin clay product
that protects the fruit with a thin barrier that keeps bugs out and
helps prevent diseases from getting on the tree.
This is the time when you can begin cutting back your spring bulb
foliage with no damage to the bulbs. This is also the time to divide
Spring and Summer flowering plants, after the flowers fade. Dig up the
plants, tease the roots apart and replant the sections or share with
another gardener. You can also take cuttings of woodies (plants with
woody stems) and perennials (plants that come back every year) now and
root them. Also, Fall blooming plants, such as mums, that get too tall
and rank can be cut back by 1/2 now to reduce their Fall height and
prevent flopping. Also, if you have an encroachment of something like
purple Echinacea (coneflower) or Black Eyed Susan into the front of
your bed and haven't the heart to dig them out, try this: simply cut
them back! Take your garden shears and trim them to the desired
height. They will create new blooms but at a much more dwarfed state.
Maybe next year you can manage to dig the volunteers out and share
them with friends - if not, bring out the clippers!
Happy Gardening and if you have any questions about this information
or any gardening practices please contact the Master Gardeners at:
And you can find the Master Gardeners Demonstration Garden at Ida Lee
Park in Leesburg.