By Cynthia Lacken, Master Gardener
August in Arkansas! Who could believe so many sunny, beautiful days could reign havoc in your garden? Insects and disease can thrive in this environment, so we need to be vigilant. Containers, especially hanging baskets, will most likely need daily watering and by now, could use a good pruning to revitalize the plant. Don’t be timid! Cut off all those leggy stems and give it a dose of fertilizer which will reward you with blooms galore in just a couple of short weeks. Watch your vegetable garden closely (daily) for signs of insect and/or disease. Any heavily infested or diseased plant materials should be removed from the garden and destroyed either by burning or hauling away. Never, ever water your vegetables with an overhead sprinkling as it will encourage insects and disease. Either water by hand or set up a drip system to deliver water directly to the root system. Both annuals and perennials should be deadheaded frequently to encourage reblooming and prevent insects from feasting on decaying flowers. Lastly, be sure your beds are mulched to retain as much moisture as possible and hold down weeds.
Did you know that the Master Gardeners can be a great resource to you with any gardening problems or issues? If we don’t know the answer, we will look it up or give you other resources to explore. We are more than happy to help you have the most beautiful garden ever!
If you have any questions about the Master Gardener program or want to talk with one, please contact our president, Maud Huber at (501)884-6547 or Danny Griffin, VBC Extension Agent at (501)745-7117.