Gardening Daily Tips July 12

Tuesday July 12, 2011


Crocus, Dutch (Crocus x hybridus)

Today’s Featured Plant
Crocus, Dutch (Crocus x hybridus)

Read the full profile of this plant at ArcaMax.com.

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Q&A: Marigold Care

Question: What is the general care and watering tips for marigolds?

Answer: Ladonna, Marigolds love full sun but will tolerate some shade. They need to be fertilized every 4 weeks to keep them vigorous and healthy. Use a fertilizer with a 3-1-2 ratio of nutrients (such as 15-5-10 or similar product). Apply 1 1/2 cups per 100 square foot of planting bed. Work it into the surface inch of the soil and water it in well. Water them once every 5-7 days with a good soaking. Watch for spider mites as they love hot weather and will really damage or even kill your marigolds. If you detect them early, you can control them before they do much damage. Thanks for the question. Please feel free to stop in again with another question any time we can help!

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Q&A: Ripe Cantalope Not Sweet

Question: Our cantaloupes grew very large and ripened well, but they had no taste and were not sweet. Any idea why? We left them ripen on the vine.

Answer: To some extent sweetness depends on the variety you grow, but it also depends on ripeness. Cutting back on watering as they ripen can help concentrate the flavor. Also, you need to let them stay on the vine until they are nearly falling off by themselves — a light pressure will slip them off. Then let them sit at room temperature or on a cool shady porch for a day or two. For some reason this brings out the full ripeness and sweetness.

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Q&A: Controlling Mosquitoes

Question: I have a big mosquito problem in my garden. How can I get rid of them?

Answer: Mosquito larvae live in wet places — so any standing water will encourage a population surge. Sometimes the length of time rainfall stays in the crotch of a tree, a discarded tire, or even in an old pot, is time enough for the larvae to hatch and turn into adults. Try to get rid of any debris near the garden where water can accumulate, even for a few days. Remember to empty birdbaths every day or two and refill with fresh water. Once you’ve eliminated potential breeding places in your own yard, try checking with your neighbors and encouraging them to discard any debris that might be harboring the pests. In your own garden, try watering early in the day and harvesting later in the day, after things dry out a bit. Protect yourself with repellents and avoid spending time in the garden in the morning and evening hours, when mosquitoes are most active.

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Tip: Control Weeds and Grass Around Fruit Trees

Keep grass away from the base of fruit trees, vines and bushes. It is a major competitor for water and nutrients. Controlling grass and weeds also keeps public enemies #1 and #2 of trees, the lawnmower and line trimmer, away from their trunks.

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Tip: Hand-Pick Japanese Beetles

Keep Japanese beetle populations in check by hand-picking the insects in the cool of the morning when they’re sluggish. Squish them or drop them into a container of soapy water.

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80 Comic Strips Now Available by Email!

ArcaMax has added dozens of new comic strips to its Comics page, including Archie, Hi and Lois, and 77 others. Subscribe to as many as you like via email, and start your day with a laugh!

Visit the Comics page and subscribe or read online right away.

— From the ArcaMax editors

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Today’s Reader Submitted Photos
Gardening Daily Tips
For Hoang Kim
Tuesday July 12, 2011


Crocus, Dutch (Crocus x hybridus)

Today’s Featured Plant
Crocus, Dutch (Crocus x hybridus)

Read the full profile of this plant at ArcaMax.com.

Comment on this Story | Share | Top

Q&A: Marigold Care

Question: What is the general care and watering tips for marigolds?

Answer: Ladonna, Marigolds love full sun but will tolerate some shade. They need to be fertilized every 4 weeks to keep them vigorous and healthy. Use a fertilizer with a 3-1-2 ratio of nutrients (such as 15-5-10 or similar product). Apply 1 1/2 cups per 100 square foot of planting bed. Work it into the surface inch of the soil and water it in well. Water them once every 5-7 days with a good soaking. Watch for spider mites as they love hot weather and will really damage or even kill your marigolds. If you detect them early, you can control them before they do much damage. Thanks for the question. Please feel free to stop in again with another question any time we can help!

Comment on this Story | Share | Top

Q&A: Ripe Cantalope Not Sweet

Question: Our cantaloupes grew very large and ripened well, but they had no taste and were not sweet. Any idea why? We left them ripen on the vine.

Answer: To some extent sweetness depends on the variety you grow, but it also depends on ripeness. Cutting back on watering as they ripen can help concentrate the flavor. Also, you need to let them stay on the vine until they are nearly falling off by themselves — a light pressure will slip them off. Then let them sit at room temperature or on a cool shady porch for a day or two. For some reason this brings out the full ripeness and sweetness.

Comment on this Story | Share | Top

Q&A: Controlling Mosquitoes

Question: I have a big mosquito problem in my garden. How can I get rid of them?

Answer: Mosquito larvae live in wet places — so any standing water will encourage a population surge. Sometimes the length of time rainfall stays in the crotch of a tree, a discarded tire, or even in an old pot, is time enough for the larvae to hatch and turn into adults. Try to get rid of any debris near the garden where water can accumulate, even for a few days. Remember to empty birdbaths every day or two and refill with fresh water. Once you’ve eliminated potential breeding places in your own yard, try checking with your neighbors and encouraging them to discard any debris that might be harboring the pests. In your own garden, try watering early in the day and harvesting later in the day, after things dry out a bit. Protect yourself with repellents and avoid spending time in the garden in the morning and evening hours, when mosquitoes are most active.

Comment on this Story | Share | Top

Tip: Control Weeds and Grass Around Fruit Trees

Keep grass away from the base of fruit trees, vines and bushes. It is a major competitor for water and nutrients. Controlling grass and weeds also keeps public enemies #1 and #2 of trees, the lawnmower and line trimmer, away from their trunks.

Comment on this Story | Share | Top

Tip: Hand-Pick Japanese Beetles

Keep Japanese beetle populations in check by hand-picking the insects in the cool of the morning when they’re sluggish. Squish them or drop them into a container of soapy water.

Comment on this Story | Share | Top

80 Comic Strips Now Available by Email!

ArcaMax has added dozens of new comic strips to its Comics page, including Archie, Hi and Lois, and 77 others. Subscribe to as many as you like via email, and start your day with a laugh!

Visit the Comics page and subscribe or read online right away.

— From the ArcaMax editors

Comment on this Story | Share | Top
Today’s Reader Submitted Photos

Click an image above to see full size and read caption.

To see more of our subscriber photos visit our full Photo Gallery.


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