It’s that time of year again when everything is growing, and people are looking forward to be rewarded for all of their hard work in the garden. With the unseasonal low temperatures this year, your garden might be a little behind normal, but with our recent rains, the weather warming up, and a little bit of care right now, your garden should be getting into the full swing of things.
When taking care of your garden, observation is the key. To be able to identify problems before they get out of hand, you should be going through your garden at least once a week very carefully. Check out the ground, under leaves, on the stems and fruit. Learn what insects are beneficial to your garden, and which ones are attacking it. If you have a high number of predatory insects, sometimes you will do more harm than good by spraying a pesticide, as well as wasting your time and money.
Diseases are another aspect that it is a good practice to learn how to identify what is wrong with your plant. Some fungi and bacterial problems can be controlled easily if found early and either treated or removed. There are some viruses that if allowed to take hold, will infect the entire plant or the soil where sometimes the only choice is to move the entire garden the following year to get rid of the problem.
By checking your garden on a weekly basis, you will be able identify a problem early, and then treat before it becomes full blown. Vigilance is the key, and with a little bit of time and patience, you will be rewarded with produce you can enjoy all summer long.
Alicia Boor is the Agriculture and Natural Resources agent for Barton County K-State Research and Extension. You can contact her by e-mail at email@example.com or calling 620-793-1910