Summer gardening secrets

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Your garden is in full swing, and you can’t wait for the results.

But wait! You’ve discovered a few unwanted visitors and challenges. We’ve got some remedies.

1. Aphids on roses? Try orange peels. They don’t repel aphids — they kill them. Put the orange peels near the affected areas. For instance, you can tear the peel a bit so that it fits onto a stem. Check back in a few hours. I’ll bet the aphids are gone!

2. Watering too much? Mulching with grass clippings and leaves throughout the growing season is critical! Mulching conserves water by keeping the soil moist. Mulching also prevents weeds and encourages a visitor you do want — the friendly earthworm.

Mulching also keeps the soil temperature at its best for root growth, and it improves the soil as it decays. Did you know a 2- to 4-inch layer of mulch decreases evaporation by 70%?

Remember to water before mulching, otherwise you might keep the soil underneath dry instead of moist!

3. Fertilize with organic fertilizer. Organic fertilizers enrich the soil instead of depleting it like synthetic fertilizers. Try this recipe for a “garden tea” fertilizer: one tablespoon emulsion, one-half teaspoon seaweed or kelp, and one gallon of water. That’s it. Mix it all together and spray onto leaves. Water every two weeks or so with this potion to increase plant vigor and reduce insect damage. When used in the fall, your garden tea helps plants get ready for winter.

4. Add compost to your soil to enhance ground nutrients.

Write to us if you have questions!

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