Watering your lawns, vegetables, and flowers is important to their survival. Give them at least an inch of water a week. Compost piles also need to be watered. Turn the piles periodically with a garden fork to keep the pile oxygenated. After you work the compost into your beds next spring, it will take less water to keep your plants healthy in the good old summertime.
Sip iced tea in the shade.
Dig iris that show signs of dying back. Look for soft areas in the rhizome. Cut these areas away, which most likely contain iris borer larvae. Destroy the larvae by the two brick method or, for the squeamish, drop the larvae into a bucket of soapy water. Replant the good parts of the iris rhizome. Some folks like to cut back the foliage by half when they replant. Not a bad idea since it helps keep the plants upright until the roots take hold again.
Sip iced coffee in the shade.
If your petunias are looking long and pitiful, with small blossoms at the end of stringy stems, cut them back to half their size. Keep spent flowers off annual plants so that they will continue to set buds and blooms. Water or spray all of your flower beds with a water-soluble blossom booster fertilizer.
Sip lemonade in the shade.
Side-dress the vegetable garden rows with 10-10-10 fertilizer just before a rain or watering session. Work it into the topsoil so that it won't splash onto the vegetable leaves. Keep the vegetables picked as they mature. Staying on the plant too long will signal the plant to stop producing.
Sip spring water in the shade.
Keep flower buds pinched off of the herbs you want to use in the kitchen. If they set flowers, the foliage becomes bitter. The more you pinch them back, the more branches will develop and the more leaves you will have to harvest.
Sip a sports drink in the shade.
Look closely at your lawn and garden plants. Turn leaves over. Many insects hide on the underside of leaves. If you suspect a problem but do not know what it is, do not just reach for a pesticide. Know your enemy; it could be a good guy. Take a sample of any troubled foliage to your University Extension Service office. Their Lawn and Garden section can identify and offer a solution for your specific problem.
Sip a cola in the shade.
Do not forget to sit in the shade and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Eat a tomato fresh from the vine. Pick a few flowers for a vase or water glass. Drink in the beauty of your landscape. There is something very rewarding about growing food and flowers and even just the physical action of digging in the dirt. Stop and taste the fruit. Smell the flowers.
Sip something cold in the shade.
---Posted by Anne K Moore, July 15, 2007---
NASA Seeds in Space
From a National Gardening Association review:
"Since its [original] publication in 1978, ...Park's Success with Seed has been one of my favorite resources for starting seeds of vegetables, herbs, and flowers."