Mid-Atlantic

July, 2011
Regional Report

Repair Water Leaks

Does water drip or spray from the hose end attached to the faucet, spray gun, or nozzle? Is there a leak in the garden or soaker hose? Water is a precious, nonrenewable, expensive resource. We can do our part to conserve. Many leaks are solved by simply replacing a missing or worn washer -- an easy fix. Hose mender kits can cost $5 or less; metal parts are more durable and stronger than the plastic ones. If your budget's allows, consider a new garden hose. Many are lighter, more durable, and more attractive than older types.

Check Broken Products for Guarantees

I just discovered that DRAMM guarantees its products for a lifetime. Other companies may do the same. If a garden tool breaks, consider contacting the manufacturer for a replacement. My Handi-Wand leaked at the aluminum ring between the screw connection and the plastic wand. I contacted a DRAMM representative, who told me about the guarantee. A replacement wand in the color I preferred arrived withing five days.

Deadhead Hostas, Salvia

Spent flowers on a hosta stem will become a cascade of seed pods. After flowers have died, clip each stem at the base among the leaves. Deadheading salvia takes time and patience. Clip each dead flower spike individually at the stem base. Look closely for small buds; clip that dead flower stem above a new stem with a bud.

Seed Cool Season Veggies

Plant kale, cabbage, Swiss chard, bok choy, arugula, broccoli, radishes, carrots, cilantro, beets, spinach, and lettuce. All thrive in cool fall temperatures to give an autumn harvest. Choose cultivars with a short growth-to-maturity time. Start spinach and lettuces in cool soil that's in some shade.

Remove Dead Seedheads from Repeat-blooming Daylilies

'Stella d'Oro', 'Mellow Yellow', 'Echo', and 'Butterscotch Ruffles' are among daylily culitivars that bloom strongly in early summer, then rebloom through the season when fertilized and deadheaded. Daylily buds are slim to a point. Daylily seedheads are plump like a yellow kumquat. Clip off the stems that hold the seedheads.

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