Wednesday, July 18, 2007


We spent the morning in Hanover (Dartmouth College) at a lecture about political polling as well as a discussion about Congress, with a Congressman from NH. It was very interesting and we learned a lot.
It was pouring outside...but cozy inside!
On the way out of the auditorium, the lady I was with commented that the rain saved her from weeding this afternoon.
Hmmmmm..... I was going to give her my lecture on rain and gardening, but I refrained. However, I can give it to YOU!
When it's raining, it is the very best time to garden, as long as it's not SHEETING rain! You don't want to go out into the garden and walk around in mud. That's not good for the ground, which compacts too easily; OR for you and your shoes and socks! BUT, when the ground is wet, weeds pull out SO easily. It's much better to weed in the rain, or shortly after it's stopped. The ground is soft, and it falls back into place pretty easily.
It's also a great time to plant because the ground is wet, and the plants are so happy to find their way into welcoming soil.
I'm a big advocate of gardening in the rain. Here's a link to a blog posting I did awhile ago. It's still effective, so check it out!
Granted it will be a bit cold, and you'll definitely need to take a warm shower when you get back in the house, but, that feels wonderful anyway.
So, don't be put off by a little rain.

Friday, July 06, 2007


I think many of my regular readers know that I am rewriting a book on Accessible Gardening for those with limitations, whether handicap or age. The book needs a few more photographs of elderly folks out in their gardens, working or just enjoying.
I am looking to you for help in finding some photographs of elderly gardeners. If any of you would be willing to share those with me, that would be wonderful. I would credit you in the book if your photograph is chosen.
You can email them to me right here!

Thursday, July 05, 2007



Order spring bulbs now for the best selection

Fertilize plants growing in containers

Direct seed kale seed for fall harvest

Sow a fall crop of peas

Pinch basil plants to promote bushiness

Side dress vegetables with nitrogen

Put nets over blueberries to protect them from birds. While you're there, give them a little fertilizer as well.

Dead-head (prune off) all your spent blossoms

It's a good time to sow seed of biennials and perennials

Cut back delphiniums when they are finished flowering. A complete
fertilizer at this time may encourage a second blooming.

Chrysanthemums will give a better fall display if fertilized a
bit now. You can continue pinching them back until mid-July for more blooms.

Try planting a clump of moisture loving Japanese iris where it can catch the water dripping from your air conditioner!

Madonna lilies should be divided as soon as the flowering period
is over.

Oriental poppies may be moved. Summer is the only time of the
year they can be divided successfully. Dig up the roots and cut them into 2 inch pieces and replant them in their new location.

Dahlias require little artificial watering in a normal season,
but should be soaked once a week during drought

Water your roses at least once a week

Floribunda roses will flower all summer if the old flower clusters
are snipped off regularly

This is the time for transplanting iris. Trim back foliage and only replant healthy, firm rhizomes. Set them quite close to the surface!

Start cuttings of coleus, geraniums, begonias and other plants
you want inside
for the winter.

The snow-in-summer should be pruned hard as it makes such rapid
growth at this time

When you trim deciduous hedges(ie,privot)be sure the sides slope out toward the bottom to be sure that sunlight reaches the base of the plants.

Wisteria's may be pruned now

This is a good time to attack Poison Ivy! Using discardable plastic gloves, cut the stems and paint the open wound with an herbicide on a HOT, SUNNY day!

Have you got Hosta's? Are there slugs chewing them? Try this solution, if you haven't already.
Combine 9 parts water to 1 part common household ammonia and spray it on the hosta just before dark. When the slugs hit this, they will dissolve!

When you weed, grab the flowering ones first so they don't go to seed and spread! Then go after the tallest ones that are just taking over your other plants. Pick on the little guys last.

Any questions about July?