Here are a few health benefits of enjoying the great outdoors. Activities like carting mulch around in a wheelbarrow, digging in the soil, plus all that bending and lifting involved in planting really does burn calories. Studies show that depending on the activity, gardening can burn between 250 and 500 calories per hour. For many people gardening is a creative outlet, for others it is the change of scenery from the daily grind that makes a difference. Still others find that the satisfaction of reaping the rewards (those tasty fruits and vegetables, and beautiful flowers) of your efforts is what helps to reduce stress levels.
We have been blessed with great moisture this year, even going into summer. But water is important for Wildlife in your yard, as well as all new and established plantings. So, keep a close eye on these things.
Here are additional tips for August:
Keep deadheading spent annual and perennial flowers for continued bloom.
Feed garden mums and asters for the last time.
Monitor plants for spider mite activity. To check for spider mites, hold a white piece of paper under a suspected branch. Tap on the branch and then run your hand across the paper. If you get red streaks, you have spider mites!
Prune to shape hedges for the last time this season.
Once bagworms reach full size, insecticides are ineffective. Pruning off and burning or discarding of large bags provides better control.
Watch for fall webworm activity.
Cultivate Strawberries and apply weed preventer immediately, after fertilizing to help with fall germinating weeds such as henbit or chickweed.
Pinch the growing tips of gourds once the adequate fruit set amount is achieved. This directs energy into the ripening fruits, rather than vine production.
Broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower transplants should be set out for the fall garden. Also, sow seeds of lettuce, radish, beans, beets, spinach and turnips now. (Spinach may germinate better if the seeds are refrigerated.)
Time to go... See you in the Garden!!
Sandi Hillermann McDonald