>Random gardening intelligence

>Did some volunteer time at the Master Gardeners phone desk today helping out callers who have problems with gardening. I always learn so much over there, researching questions. Some random thoughts from today:

Large amounts of rain has affected so much in the garden this year. Veggies (like melons) are not developing their usual sweetness. Trees that have done well for years are having a tough time with the large amount of rainfall. Weeds are rampant. In my garden, nutsedge is personally trying to take over the entire flower garden. I pull and pull and pull and it keeps coming back. Here is a great article giving tips on taking care of nutsedge.

St. Augustine grass is experiencing all kinds of problems that maybe are not typical for this time of year. Here is a great paper by James McAfee at TX A&M on some of these issues and how to treat them.

As always, lots of questions about the right time to fertilize, do weed control, etc. Important tip- weed and feed is not recommended, as the time to fertilize is rarely the time to apply weed control and much of it runs off into our water tables and into springs/aquifers, etc. Don’t be afraid to inquire with your lawn maintenace company about the amount they are fertilizing, Mine was way over-fertilizing until I talked to him and told him what I wanted based on articles from the extension office.

Anywa, those are my random thoughts for the morning. More rain in store from us today from Tropical Storm Erin, and then even more rain next week possible as Hurricane Dean comes closer. Don’t mind the break in 100 degree temps and I love using the rain delay on my sprinkler system. Does anyone else just smile and feel great when they hit that delay button like I do??

>Return of the mothership

>I’m back after a week at the beach filled with kids, sunblock, and intensive potty training. Here’s my motherly advice on that…when you are exhausted with potty training and all of your reasonable discussions get you nowhere closer to getting your little one to poop on the potty (I know, this potty talk is more appropriate for my mommy blog) it’s time to bring in reinforcements in the form of older children. ‘Nuff said here. If you want more, click here.

Now, back to gardening. Oh yeah…when I got home and went out to check my veggie garden, I was thrilled to discover that the painter we hired to paint in the house while we were gone had inadvertently turned off the spigot that feeds my drip hose for my veggies. So the garden had gone about a week without a drop in high temps. Nothing completely died, but most plants lost about half their foliage and fruits. Sucks.

August has arrived full fore with high heat indexes.