July 18, 2007
Boy is it hot! I can't stand being outside unless it is early
morning or late evening. I passed one of my neighbors yesterday
and I exclaimed, "Could it be any hotter?" and he kindly
reminded me that it was summer. Yep, summer in Kansas. Hot,
humid, dry and windy. Conditions not so desirable. I am
constantly watering pots, impatiens and all of the other new
plantings. Things look good but it is a full time job staying on
top of everything. It is hard to believe that after all the rain
we had in June that now I am wishing for a rainy day. There is a
small front headed our way hopefully bringing a shower and
cooler temperatures. Wouldn't that be nice?
garden is doing well. We will probably see the fruits of our
labor sometime in September :) I guess that's what you get when
you put tomatoes in the ground in June. We are still hopeful
though and will celebrate once we have our first harvest. I can
taste that sun ripened tomato now. Yum!
Stay cool and keep
Beat The Heat...
We're supposed to get a break from this
really hot weather in a day or two. Still it's good
to remember that exposure to too much hot weather can be
dangerous. Here are some tips to help you beat the heat:
that occur outdoors in sunny areas should be done in early
morning or late afternoon whenever possible, not during the
midday heat. Most watering, pruning, dead heading, etc., is
better for plants when done in early morning. Many chemicals,
especially insecticides, are better applied late in the day
when the wind is down and beneficial insects are not present.
yourself to acclimate to the heat slowly. Over a period of a
week or two, gradually increase the amount of time spent in
hot, still areas or in direct sun.
- Be sure
to stay hydrated, drinking as many liquids as possible. Don't
wait until you are thirsty to have a drink, as thirst is an
indicator that your body is already dehydrated. Water is
preferred, except when heat cramps occur (then drink a lightly
salted beverage like a sports drink). The water's temperature
should be cool, not cold.
tempting, do not work in the yard in a tank top or without a
shirt due to the potential for sunburn and skin cancer. Wear
loose fitting, light colored clothes. Keep the fabric content
high in cotton to aid sweat evaporation. Neckbands, headbands,
wristbands, visors, and hats can increase evaporation to keep
the body cool.
take frequent breaks to reduce the amount of time spent in the
sun or heat. After working for an hour, take a break to cool
down and have a drink in the shade to reduce the build up of
heat stress on your body.
Drinks For The Droopy?
It's not uncommon to venture out to the garden at the end of
a hot day to find some pretty droopy plants. Don't immediately
assume that they need to be watered. It may be that there is
adequate moisture in the soil but your plant's roots just can't
keep up with the needs of the leaves. If the soil is already
moist you are better off letting the plants catch up on their own
overnight. If they're still droopy in the morning give them a
This is a great time of year to take your houseplants outside for
a bath. Insect and mite populations can sometimes creep up on you
this time of year, but not to worry. Take houseplants outside and
gently hose them off. This will not only wash away harmful pests,
but will remove dust from the leaf surfaces and leave plant pores
cleaner and able to breathe easier.
Get More Blooms...
Deadheading roses and annuals such as
petunias, marigolds, and zinnias will promote reblooming
throughout the season. You can fool biannuals, like hollyhocks
and foxglove, into thinking they are perennials by cutting off
the old blossoms before seed pods form.
a rose, cut the flower stem back to an
outward facing bud just above a 5- leaflet or 7- leaflet leaf.
For most other flowers simply cut the stem just below the spent
Sweet & Corny...
Corn lovers know that standard sweet corn is at its peak for
only a day or so (supersweet corn maintains its peak
quality for a little longer). Timing is everything. For the
sweetest corn harvest when silks begin to dry, and kernels exude
a milky (rather than watery or doughy) juice when punctured.
Orange Means Hot...
This heat is going to affect tomato harvests. Tomatoes ripen
best when temperatures stay below eighty-five degrees. When the
temperatures hover in the mid-nineties several problems can
occur. The ripening process slows down and color compounds do
not form properly. Instead of a bright red tomato you may wind
up with an orange-red one. Try picking the tomatoes at the first
flush of color and ripening them indoors.
Ozone, Mow Zone...
engines like those found on
lawnmowers, weed whackers and leaf blowers lack pollution
controls. According to the
Regional Council the average lawnmower produces as
much pollution in one hour as forty
late-model cars! Do yourself, and your
fellow gardeners, a favor by not mowing on
days. If you have to mow, try to do it after 7 PM.
"Hot July brings
cooling showers, Apricots and gillyflowers."