June is dry.... watering and irrigation basics! (and tomatoes....)
Watering and irrigation:
With the intense dryness, your newly planted trees, shrubs and flowers are hungry!
-Your sprinkler is NOT watering your trees and shrubs (newly installed) enough!
-Buy a rain gauge and put it near your new tree or shrubs. 1” per week is necessary- A long deep watering, each week, is needed to help create a deep root system.
-Ever see a sprinkler running in the middle of a rain storm? Yes, me too. Get a rain sensor on your system- good for the environment, good for your pocket book, good for the municipal water system. Give us a call for more information.... (785) 843-4370
-MULCH. As dry as it’s been, throw down mulch to help keep whatever water is in the soil near the plants. Mulching staves off weeds but also keeps necessary moisture in the soil and root zone of the plant.
What else do these dry times call for? Tomatoes of course!
What do Midwesterners think about September through April: TOMATOES. The best reason to have a kitchen garden…. Everybody should grow at least one tomato! Add some basil, cilantro and a few peppers and you have, alternately, either Italian heaven or salsa madness. Even if you have only a patio, balcony, deck and a brown thumb, follow these tips for a more successful tomato:
Choose a great variety. This means that you should read up- seed catalogs are very helpful! Many people love heirloom varieties because they are more delicate, thin skinned, have more variety of flavor and great colors. Their seed can be collected and they can be grown next year from that! However, they are less resistant to fungus and diseases. They are also less tough when faced with too much water, too little water and the vagaries of Kansas springs and summers. I choose to grow a few old heirlooms- Cherokee purple last very well and an old fashioned Golden Boy because it’s sweet and mellow. I also grow the hybrids Early Girl (perfect small fruit that come on early and keep on keeping on! Perfect for sandwiches and salsa…), Celebrity and/ or Big Beef and Viva Italia roma tomatoes for sauces and freezing.
Don’t grow tomatoes in the same place every year. If container gardening, use fresh potting soil every single year. Bleach your containers.
Clean up every fall. Take away diseased plants immediately and don’t leave any tomato trash around to spread disease!
Fertilize well, use compost.
For container success: use potting soil. Use a large bucket, at least 5 gallons. Consider using a smaller variety of tomato- cherry tomatoes are good for containers.
Water evenly and deeply. Tomatoes are very deep rooted plants, like a tree almost. They want infrequent, very deep watering at their roots. No water on the leaves!