The Roundup -

County Agent Update

 


Getting the most out of your Garden

Gardens throughout the area are starting to ripen and produce many fruits and vegetables. But along with growing plants, can be growing causes for diseases. There have been reports of powdery mildew on leaves on vined plants. Powdery mildew is a whitish gray powder that appears on leaves, especially squash. Blight is another fungus that appears on leaves which causes them to turn brown and wrinkle. With both of these fungi, one thing to help prevent the spread, is watering the soil. Overhead watering can leave the leaves too wet, especially if you water in the evening, causing the water to sit on the leaves attributing to the spread of some fungi. Deep watering of the soil, at least once a week, is beneficial for root and plant growth. Sprays of copper or chlorothalonil can prevent most diseases from spreading. Along with preventing diseases, look at the varieties you order or plant from seed. There are disease resistant varieties for most fruits/vegetables available. Also when planting from seed, use new seeds yearly as stored seed can lose their vigor. With harvesting gardens upon us, remember to harvest regularly, even if you’re not sure what you will do with all the produce. When you harvest regularly, it will lead to higher yields. This information was gathered from the North Dakota State University Yard and Garden Report.

Landscaping in Salty Soils

Saline soils are a common part of the North Dakota landscape. These soils become gray and crusty, and are associated with high water tables and low rainfall. Plants hate salty soils, so when it comes to landscaping that can cause a challenge. The salts will burn plant roots and prevent them from absorbing water, which is needed. The best way to cope with salty soils it to grow plants that tolerate it. Among leafy shrubs the most tolerant include caragana, buffaloberry, silverback, sea buckthorn, common lilac, golden currant ‘Freedom’ honeysuckle and skunkbush sumac. The best evergreen shrubs are junipers; including Rocky Mountain and Eastern red Cedar. The most tolerant leafy trees include green ash, which is rarely used in landscapes today. There are some steps that landscapers can take to minimize the impacts of saline soil. Water deeply and infrequently, instead of watering a small amount daily. Watering deep once a week, about one inch, will promote a deep root system and flushes harmful salts away from the roots. Adding mulch to your plants will reduce evaporation, which leads to accumulation of salts. Fertilize plants only when needed, to know if your plants need fertilizer, do a soil test before to know what levels are current so you are not over fertilizing or wasting money. Fertilizers naturally contain salts. Add organic matter, whether it’s compost or sphagnum peat moss. You can add an inch and till it into the soil. This information was gathered from the North Dakota State University Yard and Garden Report.

 

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