Monday, August 9, 2010

Is it the heat? Combating another problem in the garden...

I'm trying to figure out why I'm having so many problems with pests in my garden this year. I'm wondering if the continual high heat we're experiencing could be a factor.

I know part of my problem is that I didn't rotate my plantings. I planted cucumbers in the same spot as I did last year, ditto on my tomatoes.

At the end of the season I'm going to pull everything up and start over. I'm reconditioning the soil and will treat it with Preem (or is it Preen?) to cut back on the weeds that keep popping up. Well, maybe I'll do that. I happen to like the marigolds and periwinkles that come back up on their own each year.

I haven't thought much about it, but is Preem something I can even use if I'm going organic? Hmmm, probably not.

I am combating a different problem in the garden that I don't think has anything to do with bugs. Could be wrong, could be horribly wrong! My hydrangeas bloomed for only a short time this year and now they have a problem with spots on the leaves. They've been there for at least ten years, well before we bought the house. I believe the reason they didn't continue to bloom is a lack of water. I've never had to water them before, but as mentioned above, the heat is much worse this year.

I'm including a picture of the leaf just in case anyone has any ideas. I fertilized a few times with the 10-10-10, or whatever the standard fertilizer is... I'll have to go look at the bag.

I thought maybe it was a missing nutrient in the soil. Then I thought maybe it was some sort of fungus or disease.

I've checked the plant carefully and not been able to find any kind of bug, but I suppose it could be a tiny mite.

I've noticed the spots on some other plants and trees but they don't quite seem to be the same. I have sprayed with a fungicide (organic) to see if that will help. I also pruned the dead flowers so the plant could use its' energy to fight off whatever it is.

Something is attacking my garden. Well, a number of somethings are attacking. I learn a bit more each year about taking better care of my garden! What in the world did people do before the Internet? Guess they got up off their butts and talked to people!

Can you tell I'm pretty much a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants garden novice? I don't have a lot of time to spend in the garden, but love it. I get up every morning and water the plants, check for bugs, and do a bit of weeding or pruning. I usually try to spray with Neem or whatever treatment the forums say might work in the evenings.

I made an early mistake in not putting in quality soil. I'm slowly correcting that and this year will be completely rectifying the problem. However, between the bags of good soil and added fertilizer, not to mention mulch, I think the plants are getting enough nutrients.

Well, enough rambling for the day...

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