Check Out State and County Fairs
Homemade jams and jellies, noisy tractor pulls, squeakingly cute piglets, heaps of veggies extraordinaire, foot-stompin' music, high tech farm and garden equipment, horse shows, etc. State and county fairs have something for just about anyone.
Look Up for Storm-Damaged Trees
Spring's heavy rains and strong winds have not only kept us out of our gardens. They've weakened rotting, insect-infested, diseased tree branches. Rather than have those branches fall unexpectedly and perhaps harm someone or damage property, walk around and look up with a critical eye. If you see large or significant dead or hanging limbs, contact three certified arborists for their expert evaluations and work estimates.
Control Slug Damage
Are your basil leaves riddled with holes? Your lettuces and spring mix stripped to the stems? The damp weather and shade bring out slugs -- snails without shells -- that feast on leafy plants including hostas. Slugs can be a persistent problem. There are commercial controls -- copper barriers, slug bait. Sinking yogurt containers with diluted stale beer is an option. The slugs slurp the beer and drown.
Rake Away Dead Rose Leaves
This spring-into-summer's wet weather has given fungi all too ideal conditions to thrive. As result, the roses have more black spot and/or rust and/or powdery mildew. Remove the dead leaves as often as possible. They carry the fungal spores that will re-infest your plants. Put them out as trash, not in the compost pile.
Prune Off Dead Roses
Pruning off stems with dead roses makes way for more blooms. Benefits all roses except Knock Out varieties, which do fine without summer pruning. Sterilize sharp pruning blades with alcohol between cuts. Clip stem just above a leaflet of five that's growing out from the shrub (rather than growing inward). Prune about one-eighth of an inch above the node where the leaflet joins the stem. Put a dab of white carpenter's glue on the open stem -- to protect the rest of the branch from moisture loss, rot, and insect entrance.