2019 Newsletter 31- πŸ’¦πŸ’¦I’ll be out watering my plants πŸ’¦πŸ’¦

2019 Newsletter 31- πŸ’¦πŸ’¦I’ll be out watering my plants πŸ’¦πŸ’¦

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This season, the mosquitoes are thick and dense, swarming any living creature that ventures forth into my yard. While I have been spraying Mosquito Beater in the yard every three weeks, those little suckers STILL manage to thrive. They bite through my clothes even if I put on several layers and Deep Woods Off! You can picture it: I would bend over to check the peppers in my adorable little garden, gently moving some melon shoots out of my way and a hundred or so blood suckers would surround me. As a result of the trauma, my garden watering sessions got shorter and shorter.
Not to sound smug, I figured watering was something that even I couldn’t mess up. I mean – how hard is it? Turn the hose on, glub glub glub, drink up little garden! Wrong! Turns out, I was watering too little thanks to the mosquitoes, the wrong way, and even with the wrong tool!
I have a cute purple sprinkler head on my hose and would drench the plants from top to bottom in a sweeping motion and then soak the pots on the porch. With the vegetable garden, I watered the mounds I made for the melons and the tomatoes, but the area I can’t reach easily with the onions and cauliflower, I’d sprinkle as much as I could. I was basically misting the leaves instead of soaking the roots. I learned that this type of shallow watering isn’t good for plants at all. It’s much more effective to water plants deeply and less often than to water them a little bit every day. This is because many diseases need wet environments to prosper. Oh – and mosquitoes. I was essentially making mosquito condos and inviting them all to live rent free.
If you remember from a few weeks ago, my broccoli bolted. I have since learned that was probably a result of not watering properly. Lesson learned.
In fact, soaking the soil enough takes more than the 10-15 minutes I had been spending. It needed a soaker hose and an hour or more of watering each week. The most important point here seems to be: water the dirt, not the plant.
To stop here would be way to easy because you can also water too much and see the same issues. Wait. WHHHHAAAT?
Most people see wilting leaves on a plant or it is yellow or pale green in color and think they need to water more. Before you drench them, check the roots of a couple of plants. Healthy roots should look firm and smell clean. Most will be some shade of creamy white. Rotting roots will be dark and mushy, with an unpleasant odor. This is because wet soil doesn’t let air in and roots need air. Just like a stinky pair of shoes, air those roots out between watering.
Hopefully, I haven’t caused too much damage to my remaining edibles. My melons and squashes seem to be thriving, while my peppers have produced some odd shapes. I think the cauliflower and brussel sprouts might be ok, as long as I do the soaker method moving forward.
ο»ΏUntil next time,  
Featured Shrub
Saturday August 17 7-8AM
Why didn’t the root vegetable take the job
The celery was too low.
Why was the teenage veggie so snarky
She didn’t carrot all!
Sicilian Potato Salad
This salad is best served warm, soon after the potatoes are cooked which also helps spread the dressing around.

  • 10 small russet potatoes, unpeeled
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1/2 pound fresh green beans, cut into pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 medium cucumbers, halved and cut
  • 1/2 pound cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 large red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves, divided
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced 

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